Will Work With India on Afghan Peace Talks: US Special Envoy

The Centre said that the discussions are a reflection of the close consultations on issues of mutual interest.

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World
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United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad visited India on Tuesday, 15 September.
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United States Special Representative on Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said during his visit to India on Tuesday, 15 September, that Washington and New Delhi will work together for the success of the Afghan peace process.

Ambassador Khalilzad held meetings with Union Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla and other Indian senior officials on the recently inaugurated Afghanistan peace negotiations.

India-US stressed on the need for regional support for the Afghan peace process that could see the Taliban being brought into the political mainstream in Kabul, and on the importance of ending transnational terrorism from Afghan soil, The Hindu reported.

Khalilzad had visited India on a similar agenda on 7 May 2020. This was his fifth visit to the country since January 2019.
The discussions, the Central government said in a statement, are a reflection of the India-US strategic partnership, which provides for close consultations between the two countries on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Will Work With India on Afghan Peace Talks: US Special Envoy
(Photo Courtesy: Screenshot/Twitter)

The two sides discussed future steps and possible cooperation between India and the US in furthering the Afghan peace process. They also deliberated upon how to promote regional and international cooperation with regard to Afghanistan.

Intra-Afghan Dialogue

Ambassador Khalilzad’s visit is important because Afghan government and the Taliban have started the first round of the intra-Afghan dialogue with the optimism of ending the decades-long conflict which has claimed lives of tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, 12 September, Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives met in Doha, Qatar, for officially opening intra-Afghan peace negotiations, as part of the US-Taliban agreement.

In official statements issued by the MEA and the US envoy, both the countries said that they shared the view that the peace process must continue until there is an agreement on a political roadmap and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire.

‘India-US Will Work Together’

“The Afghan sides should ensure their territory must not be used by any terrorist group against any other country,” Ambassador Khalilzad said addressing India’s concerns pertaining to Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism.

The intra-Afghan talks were part of the historic agreement signed between the US and the Taliban on 29 February. The dialogue, which was to be held 10 days after the deal was signed, kept getting delayed over the prisoner release issue between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

(With inputs from IANS and Hindu)

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