New Delhi: Pakistan is set to host a meeting of the special representatives for Afghanistan from the US, China and Russia Thursday. The meeting will take place a day after India chairs the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue, which will see the participation of seven countries’ national security chiefs. Both the meetings will focus on Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and its National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf will chair the ‘Troika Plus’ meeting.
The US State Department’s Special Representative and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Afghanistan, Thomas West; Russia’s Special Afghanistan Envoy Zamir Kabulov; and China’s Special Envoy for Afghan Affairs Yue Xiaoyong will participate in the meeting. West succeeded Zalmay Khalilzad, who was US special envoy for Afghanistan, after the latter stepped down in October.
Taliban’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi will represent the interim government of Afghanistan.
“A senior delegation led by FM Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi will travel to Pakistan on Nov 10. Delegation will discuss enhancing ties, economy, transit, refugees and expanding facilities for movement of people and will include ministers and working groups from finance and trade ministries,” Taliban foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a tweet.
Anaamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman of the Taliban interim government, said Muttaqi’s visit to Pakistan is a follow-up to Qureshi’s visit to Kabul in October.
“In this visit, talks will be held with different Pakistani officials on expanding ties between the two countries, economic and transit and easing people’s travel in crossings between the two countries,” Samangani was quoted as saying.
The last Troika Plus meeting was held in Moscow last month, to which India was also invited.
Doval’s one-on-one talks
On Wednesday, for the first time since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August, India will host a meeting of the security chiefs of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan under the framework of the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will chair the meeting.
Pakistan NSA Moeed Yusuf rejected the invitation to attend this dialogue, while China declined, citing scheduling issues.
On the eve of the talks Tuesday, Doval held one-on-one meetings with his counterparts, Tajikistan’s Security Council Secretary Nasrullo Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda, and Uzbekistan’s Security Council Secretary Victor Makhmudov.
According to official sources, in both the meetings, the main focus was Afghanistan.
While Tajikistan mentioned its concerns on the “sharp increase in terrorist threats from Afghanistan in recent past”, Uzbekistan’s security chief highlighted that the “legitimacy of any Afghan government within Afghanistan was important before the issue of its international recognition”, said a source.
India noted the issue of unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, and called for neighbouring states to play a constructive role in Afghanistan, sources said.
Doval will hold another set of one-of-one meetings Wednesday with the security heads of Russia, Iran and Kazakhstan, after the main security dialogue is over.
Meanwhile, the Uzbek security chief also met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
Glad to receive Victor Makhmudov, Secretary of the Security Council of Uzbekistan.
Appreciated the exchange of perspectives on Afghanistan. Noted the progress in our bilateral ties. pic.twitter.com/HWKRaBLaLK
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) November 9, 2021
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)