Not 100% sure 39 missing Indians are alive

Sushma Swaraj to hold talks with Iraqi counterpart on Indians abducted by IS

"We are trying to follow news gained through intelligence sources, and we consider that all the Indians are alive", al-Jafaari told the media here late Monday.

Iraq Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj today. We are equally concerned. We heard the Iraqi minister say that he does not know whether the 39 missing Indians were dead or alive. Last week, she met the relatives of the missing Indians and said they might be imprisoned in Badush region of northwest Mosul.

Al-Jaafari's comments came after Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh visited Iraq after Iraqi forces aided by an global coalition liberated Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation on July 9.

"The case is not just the concern of the Indian government and the families of the men in India; this issue is also a concern of the Iraqi government". The foreign minister said that Iraq was working on the assumption that they were still alive and that the Iraqi government was doing all it could to trace them.

His remarks came soon after his meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Monday. He said some Islamic State held areas were still being cleared. The volume of bilateral trade in 2016-17 was almost $13 billion. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh was also sent to Iraq days after the Iraqi prime minister announced victory in the fight to liberate Mosul. "We are making the best efforts", he told reporters after meeting oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan here.

More than 10,000 Indians fled Iraq amid the upsurge in violence in 2014, including dozens of nurses who were held briefly by suspected ISIS terrorists in Tikrit and Mosul before being allowed to return home.



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