Afghan, Indian Foreign Ministers Discuss Afghan Peace Talks

Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, who is currently on an official visit to India, met with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Monday night and discussed an international consensus on the Afghan peace talks, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The two sides reviewed the Troika Peace Meeting in Moscow and assessed the final declaration of the meeting as positive for strengthening and advancing the peace process,” it said, adding that “India stated its readiness to participate in regional conferences on peace and development in Afghanistan, including the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process in Tajikistan and peace talks in Turkey, and stressed that New Delhi strongly supported the peace process and the achievements of the Afghan people over the last two decades.”

A US-proposed peace conference in Istanbul is expected to take place in early April.

During the meeting, Atmar emphasized India’s role in the Afghan peace process and urged the nation to increase its role in strengthening regional and international support for the success of the peace talks.

Jaishankar expressed readiness to help strengthen the regional and international consensus for peace in Afghanistan, saying that unity within Afghanistan would further strengthen and contribute to regional and international unity, according to the statement.

The two also discussed the expansion of bilateral relations, the strengthening of regional, economic cooperation, and regional connectivity, it said.

Speaking about India’s recent commitments and cooperation, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the construction of the Shatoot Dam, the delivery of 500,000 doses of Corona vaccine, and the sending of 75,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan, Jaishankar said that his country as “a friend and partner of Afghanistan, would continue to support the reconstruction and developmental projects for the welfare and prosperity of Afghanistan people.”

The two sides also discussed regional connectivity projects, including the development of railways from Central Asia to South Asia via Afghanistan, the expansion of the Chabahar port, and enhancing trade between the two countries, as these projects are important for strengthening economic cooperation and regional stability, the statement said.