Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Monday said the 24 Indians on board the seized Iranian ship 'Grace 1' in Gibraltar are safe and officials from the Indian High Commission in London will be meeting them on July 24.
"Our High Commission in London @HCI_London has confirmed all 24 Indian nationals onboard vessel 'Grace 1' detained by Gibraltar police authorities are safe," he tweeted.
Mr Muraleedharan said officials of the Indian High Commission in London are in touch with the Indian crew in Gibraltar, as well as the local authorities.
Our Mission @HCI_London is in constant touch with the Indian crew and also Royal Gibraltar authorities. Our High Commission team is visiting Gibraltar on 24 July to meet the crew. @narendramodi@PMOIndia@AmitShah@DrSJaishankar@VMBJP@MEAIndia— V. Muraleedharan (@MOS_MEA) July 22, 2019
The minister said consular access to 18 Indian nationals on board 'Stena Impero' - the UK-flagged vessel seized by Iran - was sought on July 20.
The vessel is currently at Bandar Shahid Bahonar, a short distance from Iran's Bandar Abbas port.
"Vessel 'Stena Impero' currently stationed at Bandar Shahid Bahonar, a short distance from Bandar Abbas port. Our Ambassador has conveyed all crew are on board and safe. Just spoke to our Ambassador in Tehran. Confirmed that consular access to 18 Indian nationals on board 'Stena Impero' was sought on 20 July," Mr Muraleedharan stated.
While the Iranian vessel was detained by British Marines and Gibraltar authorities on July 4, Iran seized the UK-flagged ship last week. The maritime episodes have led to an international uproar which has seen both the UK and Iran demand the release of their respective vessels.
Even though the Stena Impero is UK-flagged, it had 23 crew members of different nationalities - including 18 Indians, Russian, Latvian and Filipino - on board when it was seized at the Strait of Hormuz on Friday.
Similarly, the Iranian vessel impounded by Gibraltar authorities had 24 Indian nationals on board.
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