New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday (September 13) highlighted the threat of poverty in Afghanistan and said that India is willing to stand by Afghans in this situation.

"Our friendship is reflected in Indian development projects in all 34 (Afghan) provinces. In face of grave emergency situation, India is willing to stand by Afghan people, as in the past," said Jaishankar while addressing a high-level UN meeting focusing on ‘Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan 2021’.

"International community must come together to create best possible, enabling environment," he further added.

The Union Minister went on to underline the importance of resumption of commercial flights from Kabul Airport and said that normalization was important for a regular flow of relief material. He also added that such access to Afghanistan would help accelerate the domestic relief measures.

During his address, Jaishankar also talked about the importance of safe passage for those Afghans who are looking to travel abroad with valid documents. “Those who wish to travel in and out of Afghanistan should be granted such facilities without obstruction,” he said.

Furthermore, Jaishankar stressed that Afghanistan is passing through a critical and challenging phase. Afghans are facing the imminent threat of rising poverty levels and the same could have a catastrophic effect on stability in the region.

"As an immediate neighbor, India is monitoring developments with understandable concern. The UNDP recently assessed that there is an imminent threat of poverty levels rising from 72 percent to 97 percent. This would have catastrophic consequences for regional stability," Jaishankar said.

Meanwhile, the EAM is slated to travel to Tajikistan later this week to participate in a key meeting on Afghanistan and hold talks with counterparts from several countries, including Iran, on the rapidly evolving situation in the war-torn country.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha