Indian Foreign Minister holds talks with Afghanistan Foreign Minister

Indian Foreign Minister holds talks with Afghanistan Foreign Minister

Afghanistan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, who is on a three-day visit to India, met his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Monday and discussed ways to strengthen regional and international consensus on the Afghan peace process. Expansion of bilateral relations, economic cooperation and regional connectivity also featured in the talks.

“Welcomed FM M Haneef Atmar of Afghanistan. Detailed conversation on the peace process. Also exchanged views on our bilateral cooperation and development partnership,” Jaishankar tweeted.

The meeting comes amid renewed international efforts in the last few weeks to speed up the peace process in Afghanistan. The Taliban and the Afghan government are holding direct talks in Doha to end a 19-year war that has killed tens of thousands of people.

The two sides reviewed the Troika Peace Meeting in Moscow and assessed the final declaration of the summit as positive for strengthening and advancing the peace process. 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.

Jaishankar stressed that New Delhi strongly supported the peace process and the achievements of the Afghan people over the last two decades.

Mohd Haneef Atmar called for India’s enhanced role in strengthening regional and international consensus for the success of peace talks. Jaishankar said that national consensus and unity within Afghanistan would further strengthen and contribute to the peace process.

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

During the meeting, Mohd Haneef Atmar thanked India for investing approximately $3 billion in economic and development assistance to Afghanistan over the past two decades.

Highlighting India’s recent commitments, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the construction of the Shatoot Dam, the delivery of 500,000 doses of Covid-19 Vaccine, and 75,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan, Jaishankar said the country 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 and the expansion of the Chabahar port.

They agreed to form specialised working groups in various fields to strengthen economic and development cooperation and to follow up on the planned projects at technical levels.

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