New Delhi [India], April 18 (ANI): In a major diplomatic win for New Delhi, Ann Tessa Joseph from Thrissur, Kerala, one of the 17 Indian crew members of the Israel-linked cargo ship 'MSC Aries' that was seized by Iran on April 13, returned safely to her homeland, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed through an official statement on Thursday.

The Indian deck cadet landed at the Cochin International Airport on Thursday afternoon and was received by the Regional Passport Officer of Cochin.

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"With the concerted efforts of Indian Mission in Tehran and the Iranian Government, Indian deck cadet Ms. Ann Tessa Joseph from Thrissur, Kerala, who was among the Indian crew members of container vessel MSC Aries, has landed safely at the Cochin International Airport today afternoon. At the airport, Ms. Joseph was received by the Regional Passport Officer, Cochin," MEA statement read.

In the wake of the seizure of the container vessel, External Affairs Minister s Jaishankar spoke to his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, bringing up the release of the 17 Indian crew members.

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The two leaders, earlier, discussed the prevailing situation in West Asia, stressing the importance of avoiding escalation.

"Spoke to Iranian FM @Amirabdolahian this evening. Took up the release of 17 Indian crew members of MSC Aries. Discussed the current situation in the region. Stressed the importance of avoiding escalation, exercising restraint and returning to diplomacy. Agreed to remain in touch," Jaishankar posted from his official X handle.

The Indian Mission in Tehran was in touch with the remaining 16 Indian crew members of the container vessel, which is currently under Iranian control, the MEA informed.

The crew members are in good health and in touch with their family members back home, the MEA release added.

"Indian Mission in Tehran remains seized of the matter and is in touch with the remaining 16 Indian crew members of the container vessel. The crew members are in good health and in contact with their family members in India," the MEA added.

"The Indian Mission is also in touch with the Iranian authorities in ensuring the well being of the remaining crew members of MSC Aries. Earlier, External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar had spoken to his Iranian counterpart Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian on the matter," it stated further.

Following her safe landing at Cochin airport, MEA official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal shared details of her release saying that she flew back to her homeland with the support of Iranian authorities.

"Indian deck cadet Ms. Ann Tessa Joseph from Thrissur, Kerala, a member of the crew on vessel MSC Aries returned home today. @India_in_Iran, with the support of Iranian authorities, facilitated her return. Mission is in touch with Iranian side to ensure the well being of the remaining 16 crew members," Jaiswal posted from his X handle.

The Israel-linked cargo ship was seized by Iran on April 13, with 17 Indian nationals onboard

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy seized the container ship near the Strait of Hormuz, The Times of Israel reported, citing an Iranian news agency.

The MSC Aries was last seen on April 12, sailing towards the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Dubai, according to The Times of Israel. (ANI)

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