Full support for peace in Afghanistan, Jaishankar to Abdullah Abdullah.

Afghan negotiator Abdullah Abdullah rounded off his talks with the Indian leadership on the Afghan peace process with a meeting on Friday with external affairs minister S Jaishankar, who said India remains committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Since he arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday, the chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation has met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and army chief Gen MM Naravane and briefed them on the peace process and the talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha.

After the meeting on Friday afternoon, Jaishankar tweeted that he and Abdullah had a “good discussion on our bilateral cooperation and regional issues”. Jaishankar added: “Welcomed his insights and perspectives on recent developments. As a neighbour, India remains committed to peace, prosperity and stability in Afghanistan.”

Abdullah said in a tweet that he and Jaishankar had “exchanged views on the #AfghanPeaceProcess, bilateral relations, & regional support for peace efforts. He assured me of India’s full support for peace in Afghanistan.”

Abdullah’s visit is part of an outreach to key countries in the region to seek support for the negotiations in Doha. Before travelling to India, he visited Pakistan last week for talks with the civil and military leadership. Abdullah told the Pakistani leaders that a message about reducing violence and showing greater flexibility in negotiations should be communicated to the Taliban.

At their meeting on Thursday, PM Modi assured Abdullah of India’s continued backing for the Afghan peace process. Abdullah also said Modi had assured him that India will back any settlement acceptable to the Afghan people.

However, Abdullah said at an event organised by a think tank on Thursday that a premature withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will have consequences, especially if the Taliban don’t deliver on commitments to prevent the use of Afghan soil by groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

He made the remarks shortly after US President Donald Trump tweeted that he planned to pull out all American troops from Afghanistan by Christmas, months ahead of the earlier deadline of May 2021.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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