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Sushma Swaraj led efforts to free Indian nurses in Iraq : Indian Foreign Ministry

Sushma Swaraj assuming charge as External Affairs Minister at South Block, New Delhi

New Delhi, July 4 The campaign for the release of Indian nurses held in Iraq was led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj herself, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here Friday.

Giving credit to Sushma Swaraj for efforts to secure the release of the nurses, the spokesperson said: “EAM has been at this 24 hours. She has been doing at least 3-4 times more than what has been reported (in the media).”

All 46 Indian women nurses seized by Sunni insurgents in Iraq were freed Friday after intense diplomatic efforts, and were set to return to Kerala Saturday morning.

Akbaruddin revealed that Sushma Swaraj led the “diplomatic effort” by interacting with a host of her counterparts. “The engagements and interactions of the external affairs minister are far beyond what have been written.”

Giving an example, Akbaruddin said: “She was flying out to Bhopal Thursday and as soon as she heard of news of the nurses (being moved from Tikrit to Mosul), she came back and immediately held a meeting.”

“It’s time now for us to turn to each other and not on each other. Please have hope and faith that the government is doing all it can to ensure the return of Indian nationals in extremely difficult circumstances. These are circumstances where conventional rules of diplomacy no longer exist on the ground,” he added.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who has been camping in the capital since the crisis erupted, also gave credit to Sushma Swaraj.

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