• publish: 6 October 2019
  • time: 9:56 am
  • category: Excerpted
  • No: 10717

Indian, Afghan foreign ministries say US-Taliban peace talks should include Afghan government

The Indian and Afghan foreign ministries have commented on the Taliban political delegation’s ongoing visit to Islamabad for peace talks resumptions, saying there is a need for involvement of all parties, including the Afghan government.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday that India supported the peace talks that the new Afghan government should be part of.

“India has consistently supported an early election and is very happy the election took place despite challenging circumstances. We will continue to engage with the legitimate government which will assume power”, Kumar said

The official added that the Indian Foreign Ministry called upon all sides to take action against terrorists, saying that the peace settlement “should not leave any ungoverned spaces where terrorists and their proxies can operate and where they can create bases to target India”.

The Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Idris Zaman, in turn, said that efforts which are not backed by the Afghan government would not bring any results.

“All the meetings and trips in which the Afghan government is not involved are not [served] in the interest of peace. The peace talks should be led by the Afghans and the Taliban by accepting the ceasefire and starting negotiations with the Afghan government”, Zaman said at a press conference in Kabul.

Former Taliban commander Syed Akbar Agha stated that the Taliban’s visit to Pakistan was beneficial, adding that the talks between the United States and the Taliban need to be resumed.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi received on 3 October a Taliban political delegation and called on the Islamist movement to promptly relaunch its stalled Afghan reconciliation negotiations with the US.

The Taliban and the United States have for nearly a year been attempting to negotiate a peace deal that would ensure the withdrawal of foreign troops in exchange for the movement’s guaranteed that the country will not become a safe haven for terrorists. The talks, however, have excluded the Afghan government because the Taliban consider it to be a US puppet. The latest round of talks in Doha finished on 1 September with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad saying that Washington and the Taliban were “on the threshold of an agreement”.

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