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Afghan Foreign Minister in India for talks

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammed Haneef Atmar during a meeting, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Mohammed Haneef Atmar arrived in New Delhi on Monday for a three-day visit to discuss, among other things, the ongoing peace process in the war-torn country.

“The purpose of Mr. Atmar and his accompanying delegation’s visit to India is to discuss bilateral relations, strengthen regional and international consensus on the Afghan peace process, and enhance cooperation,” declared a press release from the Afghan Foreign Ministry.

Upon his arrival, Mr. Atmar held bilateral talks with External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar.

“Welcomed Foreign Minister M. Haneef Atmar of Afghanistan. (Held) detailed conversation on the peace process. Also exchanged views on our bilateral cooperation and development partnership,” said Mr Jaishankar in a message after the discussion at Hyderabad House.

The visit is crucial as it indicates the Afghan government’s desire to keep India informed about the exchanges with the Taliban which entered into an agreement with the Trump administration in 2020. The Biden administration has to decide on the future course of action, especially on whether all U.S. troops will be withdrawn by May 1 as agreed by the Trump presidency. Last week, U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd James Austin III flew to Afghanistan after his visit to India, indicating that the U.S. may station troops beyond May 1.

Apart from the policy makers in Delhi, Mr Atmar is also scheduled to meet with former Indian ambassadors to Kabul and engage Afghan students and businessmen based here. He will also interact with members of the Hindu and Sikh minority communities of Afghanistan and other Afghan refugees who are based in India.

Mr Atmar will meet National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during his stay.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:48:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/afghan-foreign-minister-in-india-for-talks/article34136408.ece

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