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S Jaishankar holds talks with Afghan foreign minister; discusses peace process

The external affairs minister said on Twitter that he reaffirmed India's "development partnership" with Afghanistan besides discussing recent developments in the country.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
August 19, 2020 8:05:18 pm
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. (File)

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday held a “productive” conversation with his Afghan counterpart Mohammed Haneef Atmar on the long-awaited peace process aimed at ending the nearly two decades of conflict in that country.

The external affairs minister said on Twitter that he reaffirmed India’s “development partnership” with Afghanistan besides discussing recent developments in the country.

The telephonic conversation between Jaishankar and Atmar, the acting foreign minister of Afghanistan, came 10 days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani agreed to release 400 Taliban prisoners paving the way for the beginning of the peace process.

“A productive conversation with Acting FM @MHaneefAtmar of #Afghanistan. Greeted him on Afghan Independence Day. Discussed recent developments in Afghanistan and our bilateral cooperation. Reaffirmed our development partnership and connectivity linkages,” Jaishankar tweeted.

India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan. It has already invested USD two billion in aid and reconstruction activities in the country.

India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan controlled.

It has been keenly following the evolving political situation after the US inked a peace deal with the Taliban in February. The deal provided for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, effectively drawing curtains to Washington’s 18-year war in the country.

The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001.

India has also been maintaining that care should be taken to ensure that such a process does not lead to any “ungoverned spaces” where terrorists and their proxies can relocate.

India has been calling upon all sections of the political spectrum in Afghanistan to work together to meet the aspirations of all people in that country including those from the minority community for a prosperous and safe future.

Jaishankar also held a telephonic conversation with the foreign minister of Oman Badr Albusaidi.

“Called up FM @badralbusaidi of #Oman to congratulate him on his appointment. Discussed our excellent bilateral relations. Look forward to working closely with him,” the external affairs minister tweeted.

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