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Indians Safe in Iraq but Tension Prevails

America and Iran possible war on Iraqi soil has led to tensions among the Indian community in Iraq. According to a top UN diplomat so far, there have been no reports of any harm to Indian nationals anywhere in Iraq.

“India’s efforts remain focused on peace and stability in the region and this has been reflected in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s outreach to all the key players in recent days says diplomatic sources.

About 25,000 Indians are working across Iraq, mainly in infrastructure and oil sectors. Erbil, the capital of northern autonomous region of Kurdistan has the highest number of Indians.

Since Sunday, Jaishankar has spoken to both US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif and the foreign ministers of the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Jordan to discuss ways to reduce the tensions and to work for de-escalation. PM Modi has also discussed the issue with US President Donald Trump during a phone call on Tuesday.

India’s efforts are aimed at ensuring energy security and protecting the interests of some 8 million expatriates in West Asia, including more than 2.5 million in Saudi Arabia alone. Any confrontation between Iran and the US is bound to affect sea routes in the Persian Gulf and hit oil prices and supplies.

The UN has unofficially advised India’s Ambassador to Iraq to not allow more Indians to the country till the situation is back to normal. The mission is still assessing the situation and is expected to take the call soon

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