Better for India, Russia to work together on Afghan agenda: Indian Envoy


Better for India, Russia to work together on Afghan agenda: Indian Envoy

New Delhi/Moscow, Sep 8 (UNI) The situation in Afghanistan is a matter of concern for the entire region, Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma said and emphasised that it would be better for Moscow and New Delhi to work together on the Afghan agenda as both have been affected by the developments there.

He said the results of international efforts to resolve the Afghan situation over the past year and a half, including the Doha Agreement of 2020, and negotiations of the expanded troika, were far from what the participants had planned.

India did not participate in the Doha negotiations and is still not a member of the extended troika (Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan).

The Afghan issue, including the question of recognising the Taliban regime, will be discussed during talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and visiting Russian security chief Nikolay Patrushev in New Delhi, he told Ria Novosti.

“The situation in Afghanistan is a matter of concern for the entire region. India and Russia were affected by the development of events. And what is happening poses a threat to the interests of both countries – from the point of view of the possible activation of terrorist groups, the growth of drug trafficking, organized crime, and refugee flows,” he said.

“At the same time, it is important to emphasize that after the departure of the coalition, a significant number of modern weapons are now in the hands of many armed groups,” the Indian envoy said.

“I think that we have already learned at least one of the lessons: it would be better for India and Russia to work together on the Afghan agenda,” he said.

“Now, of course, there is a completely new situation in Afghanistan, foreign troops have been withdrawn, the Taliban have captured Kabul, while overall instability remains in the country. Therefore, India and Russia will continue to discuss their participation in the ongoing processes, including – the issue of recognition of the Taliban.”

Varma said the telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 24 was “dedicated to the situation in Afghanistan”.

Both the leaders “confirmed that they intend to work together to resolve this issue, for which a permanent consultation mechanism was formed”, he said.

He said Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolay Patrushev is visiting India at the head of a high-ranking delegation, which includes representatives of various ministries. Besides the talks with his Indian counterpart, Patrushev will also be received at the highest level by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We expect the Indo-Russian consultations to be very in-depth and action-oriented. “He said “With regard to Afghanistan, India and Russia have a common approach, especially with regard to the fight against terrorism.”

On the massive protests that erupted across Afghanistan, he said: “Events in Afghanistan are developing especially rapidly. For example, today reports of mass actions are coming from Kabul, and among the slogans there is a protest against external interference in Afghan affairs, especially from Pakistan, this is what they write in the news.

“But no matter how the situation develops, both India and Russia are united in their assessments. And both countries are also interested in the stability of the Central Asian states. And so we hope to continue to act. It is important that this is the first foreign visit of Mr. Patrushev after the recent events in Afghanistan. We hope it will be successful,” he added.

He also said that Prime Minister Modi has said that he will be delighted to host President Putin on his annual visit – as part of the annual summit.

“Dates have not yet been finalized due to the coronavirus situation. But we hope that this visit will take place at least until the end of the year. We expect the visit to be very successful. In this regard, a number of preparatory meetings are already taking place. We are always happy to host President Putin in India, we have developed a tradition of annual bilateral summits in the development of a privileged strategic partnership between our countries. Last year, the meeting was cancelled due to the situation with COVID-19. But, I repeat, we hope that the visit will take place.”


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