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India, Central Asian nations call for aid to Afghanistan

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KABUL: Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Sunday sought cooperation of Central Asian nations to help provide aid to Afghanistan and ensure the Taliban form an inclusive and representative government in the country.

At the third India-Central Asia Dialogue on Sunday, India and five Central Asian countries called for providing immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan while emphasizing that Afghan territory must not be used for sheltering, training, planning, or financing terrorist activities.

The countries also extended their strong support for a peaceful, secure, and stable Afghanistan while stressing the need for respecting the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the war-torn country.

The third India-Central Asia Dialogue, hosted by India in Delhi, was attended by the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

“Our concerns and objectives in that country are similar,” Jaishankar told his counterparts from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan. “We must find ways of helping the people of Afghanistan.”

The Indian minister listed the needs for an inclusive government in Afghanistan, fighting terrorism and drug trafficking, providing unhindered humanitarian assistance and preserving the rights of women, children and minorities as priorities for the Asian neighbors. New Delhi has so far held only one formal meeting with the Taliban group since its takeover of Afghanistan earlier this year.

Emphasizing the issue of the challenging situation in AfghanistanUzbekistan Foreign Affairs Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov has said that a unified and coordinated approach towards the strife-torn country needs to be discussed.

“The issue of the challenging situation in neighbouring Afghanistan and the need to develop a unified and coordinated approach towards this country also needs to be discussed,” Uzbekistan Foreign Affairs Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said during his opening remarks at the Third meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue here on Sunday.

Stating that the agenda of this meeting is the most relevant topic that requires joint discussions, he said that with regard to Afghanistan the dialogue will have a constructive and thorough exchange of views in the spirit of traditional, mutual understanding and partnership.

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