US, India to work together for success of Afghan peace process

New Delhi/Washington, Sep 15 (IANS) The US Special Representative on Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said during his visit to India on Tuesday that Washington and New Delhi will work together for the success of the Afghan peace process.
Ambassador Khalilzad held meetings with Union Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla and other senior Indian officials on the recently inaugurated Afghanistan peace negotiations. Khalilzad had visited India on a similar agenda on May 7, this year. This was his fifth visit to India since January 2019.
The discussions, the Central government said in a statement, are a reflection of the India-US strategic partnership which provides for close consultations between the two countries on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Earlier this year, the US signed a historic peace deal with the Taliban and a joint declaration with the Afghan government.
On Saturday, Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives met in Doha, Qatar, for officially opening intra-Afghan peace negotiations, as part of the US-Taliban agreement.
In official statements issued by the MEA and the US envoy, both the countries said that they shared the view that the peace process must continue until there is an agreement on a political roadmap and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire.
“The Afghan sides should ensure their territory must not be used by any terrorist group against any other country,” Ambassador Khalilzad said addressing India’s concerns pertaining to Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism.
As per an UNSC report, Pakistani terror groups meant for attacking India are training in Afghanistan.
The US envoy stressed that regional and international support is critical for the success of these negotiations and the implementation of any agreement.
India and the US will work together in support of this objective, he said, adding that both the countries share similar views on the importance of long-term assistance, trade and investment for consolidating a peace agreement for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan, the region, and beyond.
An MEA statement said that Khalilzad appreciated India’s participation in the intra-Afghan negotiations held in Doha on September 12.
He briefed the Indian side about the US assessment of the negotiations and shared the US perspective on the Afghan peace process.
The two sides discussed future steps and possible cooperation between India and the US in furthering the Afghan peace process. They also deliberated upon how to promote regional and international cooperation with regard to Afghanistan.

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