Will work with close partner India to promote shared interests, says US Special Envoy on Afghanistan

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West has said the US will work with close partner India to address their “abundant shared interests in a stable and peaceful Afghanistan”

Nov 17, 2021
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India-Afghanistan (Photo: Twitter)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West has said the US will work with close partner India to address their “abundant shared interests in a stable and peaceful Afghanistan”. In a tweet, following his meeting in New Delhi with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, West posted:

“We will work together with our close partner to address our abundant shared interests in a stable & peaceful Afghanistan.”

During the talks on Tuesday, the two sides focused on the current developments in Afghanistan, the November 10 Regional Security Dialogue of NSAs on Afghanistan in New Delhi, the movement of people in and out of Afghanistan, coordinating global efforts on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, regional security issues, and other bilateral and international issues of mutual interest, sources said.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, in a tweet on the talks between the Foreign Secretary and West, said: “Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla met US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West @US4AfghanPeace and exchanged views on recent developments and issues of common interest in Afghanistan.”

The talks were also attended by JP Singh, Joint Secretary in charge of the Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran Division, in the Ministry of External Affairs, who had met a Taliban delegation led by Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi, Deputy Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, on October 20 in Moscow – in the first formal meeting between India and the Taliban regime in Kabul.

Tuesday’s talks followed West’s visit to Islamabad last week to attend the Troika Plus talks, participated by the special representatives of the US, Russia, China and Pakistan, on November 11. West has taken over as chief interlocutor from Zalmay Khalilzad who stepped down last month.

Before he came to New Delhi, West was in Moscow where he met the special representative Zamir Kabulov. “Met today in Moscow with Special Presidential Representative Kabulov and Security Council Deputy Secretary Venediktov.

“Discussed shared interests in Afghanistan and need for Taliban to fulfill commitments to international community,” he tweeted.

The November 10 NSA-level talks hosted by India, called the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, were attended by the security chiefs of Russia, Iran, and the five Central Asian countries. Both Pakistan and China had declined to attend the Delhi talks.

The meeting Tuesday came even as the Taliban has requested Pakistan to allow Indian trucks carrying 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and other aid to travel to Afghanistan, which is in dire need of food and medicines. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan assured a Taliban delegation, led by Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, last week that he would allow access to Indian trucks carrying aid to Afghanistan "on exceptional basis".

(SAM)

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