New Delhi: India has said it hopes the US-Taliban peace deal will result in a “lasting political settlement” that will be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, and lead to “peace and stability”.
“India’s consistent policy is to support all opportunities that can bring peace, security and stability in Afghanistan; end violence; cut ties with international terrorism; and lead to a lasting political settlement through an Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled process,” Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, said Saturday in response to the issuance of a joint declaration between the Afghan and US governments in Kabul and signing of the US-Taliban agreement in Doha.
He also said India has noted that the “entire political spectrum in Afghanistan, including the Government, the democratic polity and civil society, has welcomed the opportunity and hope for peace and stability generated by these agreements”.
Meanwhile, Foreing Secretary Harsh V. Shringla has been touring Afghanistan since Friday.
He met President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and former President Hamid Karzai, First Vice-President-elect Amrullah Saleh, NSA Hamdullah Mohib, Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri and Acting Finance Minister Mr. Abdul Zadran.
Shringla Saturday attended signing of agreements for road projects being carried out in Bamyan and Mazar-e-Sharif provinces of Afghanistan with India’s assistance.
“As a contiguous neighbour, India will continue to extend all support to the government and people of Afghanistan in realising their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future where the interest of all sections of Afghan society are protected,” Raveesh Kumar said.
The US-Taliban peace deal
The US and the Taliban signed a peace deal Saturday in the Qatar capital of Doha, bringing the curtains down on a more than 18-year-old conflict that began in response to the 9/11 twin-tower attacks in 2001.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo led a US delegation that signed the agreement with the Taliban. The deal — which followed a seven-day reduction in violence — is expected to pave the way towards direct talks between Taliban officials and Afghan leaders in Oslo next month, according to US officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
India was present on the occasion, represented by envoy to Doha P. Kumaran, after receiving an official invitation.
According to sources, India was extended the official invitation to attend the event in Doha after the bilateral meeting between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week.