Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy Zamir Kabulov on Thursday held talks with Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and other officials of the External Affairs Ministry on ways to bring peace and stability in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said both sides reiterated their support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive peace and reconciliation process.
In the meetings, the Russian side briefed on their efforts to support Afghan peace process through Moscow format of talks. Kumar said it was agreed to maintain regular bilateral consultations and coordination including in the context of international fora with the shared objective to promote peace, security, stability, unity and prosperity in Afghanistan.
“It was agreed to hold the next round of consultations in Moscow in 2019,” he said. Kabulov held delegation-level talks with Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran division) Deepak Mittal. He later met Gokhale.
India has been actively involved in reconstruction activities in Afghanistan. Last month, India attended in a “non-official” capacity a conference under Moscow format of talks which was hosted by Russia and participated by the Taliban as well as representatives from several countries including Pakistan, China and Iran.
India made it clear that its participation was in sync with its Afghan policy and asserted that attending the meeting was not talking to the Taliban at all. India’s former envoy to Afghanistan Amar Sinha and former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan were representing New Delhi in a “non-official” capacity.
New Delhi’s consistent policy has been that the peace talks should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with participation of the government of Afghanistan.