New Delhi: With a grave humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, India on Monday said it is willing to stand by Afghans and called for unimpeded access to aid providers to the country as also a “non-discriminatory” distribution of relief supplies across all sections of the society. In a brief virtual address at the UN high-level meeting on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stressed on the importance of safe passage for those Afghans who are looking to travel abroad with valid documents.Also Read - Viral Video: Man Stops Woman From Singing in Public, Calls it 'Haram'; Crowd Schools Him | WATCH

“It’s important that issue of travel and safe passage that can emerge as obstacle to humanitarian assistance be immediately sorted out. Those who wish to travel in and out of Afghanistan should be granted such facilities without obstruction,” said Jaishankar. Demanding that such safe passage be sought without any delays, the EAM said, “The normalisation of regular commercial operations of Kabul airport would not only assist in that regard but then become the basis of a regular flow of relief material. This would also accelerate activities that would complement domestic relief measures.” Also Read - International Flights Latest News: Canada Lifts Travel Ban on Flyers From India | Read Latest Guidelines Here

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The External Affairs Minister also said that as an immediate neighbour, India is monitoring developments in Afghanistan with “understandable concern”, and noted that the issue of travel and safe passage that can emerge as an obstacle to humanitarian assistance should be immediately sorted out. During his address, the minister also heightened the threat of rising poverty levels and said the same could have a catastrophic effect on regional stability.

India willing to stand by Afghan people: EAM

Referring to India’s historic ties with the Afghan people, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the friendship between the two countries is “reflected in Indian development projects in all 34 provinces” in Afghanistan. “In the face of a grave emergency situation, India is willing to stand by the Afghan people, as in the past. The international community must come together to create the best possible, enabling environment,” S Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar further appealed to the international community to come together and create the best possible environment to enable humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. “Once relief materials reach that country, the world will naturally expect a non-discriminatory distribution of humanitarian assistance, across all sections of Afghan society,” he said.

(Based on agency inputs)