Updated: September 5, 2019 7:07:52 am
India and Russia on Wednesday supported all efforts for an inclusive peace and reconciliation in war-torn Afghanistan.
Addressing a joint press meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “India wants to see a Afghanistan which is safe, stable, peaceful, independent, undivided and democratic.”
He also underlined that both the countries are against “outside influence” in the internal matters of any nation.
“India and Russia support all efforts for an inclusive peace and Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation in Afghanistan,” according to a joint statement issued by the two countries.
Both the sides expressed their commitment to an early peaceful settlement in Afghanistan, it said.
India and Russia expressed their “determination to achieve this goal by continuing cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-Afghanistan Contact Group and other internationally recognised formats, and their support for the intra-Afghan dialogue launched in Moscow in February 2019”.
Calling for immediate cessation of violence in Afghanistan, the two countries said they will continue intensive discussions on the Afghan issue and encourage all interested states in their efforts to make peace process in Afghanistan broad based, preserve the constitutional order, bring durable peace and to turn Afghanistan into a peaceful, secure, stable and independent state.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy leading efforts to forge a deal with the Taliban, has spent about a year meeting with the Taliban in Doha in a series of talks aimed at ending America’s 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.
The deal which is closer to being clinched centres on a US troop withdrawal in return for several security guarantees from the Taliban, broader peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government, and an eventual ceasefire.
Modi and Putin also welcomed the stabilisation of the situation in strife-torn Syria.
“They insisted on the need to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for the settlement of the Syrian crisis exclusively through political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.
Both the sides agreed to continue to step up assistance to Syria with a view to reconstruction, including the creation of conditions for the return of refugees and temporarily displaced persons.
The leaders also recognised the importance of full and effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian Nuclear Programme (JCPOA) in the context of securing regional and international peace, security and stability.
The US in 2018 withdrew from the JCPOA, which gave Iran economic incentives to place limits on its nuclear programme, and imposed a policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran to convince it to come back to the negotiating table. However, Iran ruled out any direct talks with the White House.
India and Russia “expressed their determination to continue mutually beneficial and legitimate economic and commercial cooperation with Iran”, the statement said, amidst growing confrontation between the US and Iran.
India and Russia also stressed on the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all parties concerned in order to realise lasting peace and stability in a “denuclearised Korean Peninsula” and urged all parties concerned to work together towards this goal.
North Korea has been continuing to develop its nuclear program in spite of UN sanctions.
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