‘Non-of­fi­cial’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in Afghan meet in sync with In­dia’s pol­icy: MEA

Millennium Post - - Nation - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

NEW DELHI: In­dia Fri­day made it clear that its par­tic­i­pa­tion at a multi-lat­eral con­fer­ence on Afghanistan in Moscow in a “non-of­fi­cial” ca­pac­ity was in sync with its Afghan pol­icy, as­sert­ing that it was not talk­ing to the Tal­iban.

In­dia sent two for­mer dip

lo­mats to the meet­ing Rus­sia hosted Fri­day for peace in Afghanistan which was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from sev­eral coun­tries and the Tal­iban.

Re­ply­ing to ques­tions on why In­dia sent rep­re­sen­ta­tives to the meet­ing, al­though in “non-of­fi­cial” ca­pac­ity, when the Tal­iban was par­tic­i­pat­ing in it, spokesper­son in the Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs (MEA) Raveesh Ku­mar said In­dia will be part of any peace process which is Afghan-led, Afghanowned and Afghan-con­trolled.

“We will par­tic­i­pate in any process which is con­sis­tent with the pol­icy we have for Afghanistan... It was de­cided by the gov­ern­ment that our par­tic­i­pa­tion will be at non-of­fi­cial

level,” he said.

To a ques­tion on par­tic­i­pa­tion of Tal­iban in the meet­ing, he said,”where did we say that there will be talks with Tal­iban. We did not say that.”

The con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by Rus­sia was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Afghanistan as well as from sev­eral other coun­tries in­clud­ing the US, Pak­istan and China. “In our pol­icy on Afghanistan which we have ar­tic­u­lated and which has been con­sis­tent for quite some­time that we will be sup­port­ive of any process in Afghanistan is a party to the process,” said Ku­mar.

Ini­tially, the meet­ing was pro­posed for Septem­ber 4 but it was called off af­ter the Afghan gov­ern­ment pulled out of it. In­dia had also de­clined an in­vi­ta­tion to the meet­ing then.

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