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India, US discusses perspective of Afghan peace talks

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: India has briefed the visiting United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad about its policy in the South Asian neighbour and Pakistan’s role in the region. 

Khalilzad met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday and foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale on Friday. 

Ministry of External affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said both sides shared perspective on peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.  

“Khalilzad briefed us on their aspect as to how US is trying to achieve peace and reconciliation in the country. We made it very clear that peace and reconciliation in Afganistan should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled,” Kumar said.

Asked if Pakistan’s role was discussed, he replied,” This is something we have articulated time and again, about the destabilizing role they (Pakistan) play. We reiterate out policy in Afghanistan.”

US ambassador to India Ken Juster and secretary PAI (Pakistan Afghanistan Iran) division was also present when Khalilzad met Swaraj on Thursday.

“Both sides shared their perspectives on peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan,” said an MEA tweet.

This is the first visit by Zalmay to India after taking charge. He will also be visiting China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. During his last visits to the region had had not visited India. 

MEA also reacted on Army Chief General Bipin Rawat saying that “there should be talks with Taliban” but without “any preconditions.”

“Our position on Afghanistan has been clear and consistent. We have said in the past, India supports the peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. We support the process which is inclusive towards achieving this goal and there has been no change in the position,” MEA spokesperson Kumar said. 

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