Expressing concern over the abduction of 40 Indians in strife-torn Iraq, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to intensify diplomatic efforts to ensure their safety and secure their early release. In her letter to Modi, Gandhi asked him to "act swiftly" to evacuate all Indians from the affected area and ensure their safe return.
"I urge you to intensify all diplomatic efforts required to ensure their safety and secure their release," she said.
Giving her party's backing for all diplomatic efforts to achieve the objective, she said, "It is imperative to act swiftly to evacuate all our nationals in the region and ensure their safe return."
Gandhi said the escalation of conflict in Iraq has severely undermined the peace and stability in the region and the deteriorating situation is a matter of grave international concern.
The Congress President termed the kidnapping as "despicable" and "cowardly" act that has caused deep distress to the affected families. "The Indian National Congress condemns this assault on innocent civilians," she said.
It "deserves our unreserved condemnation", she said, adding, "I assure you that the Indian National Congress will be fully supportive of all diplomatic efforts to achieve this objective" of securing their release.
For full coverage of the crisis in Iraq and the Indians stranded there, read here.