India gets invite for U.S.-Taliban deal event

Nearly 24 nations expected to attend

February 27, 2020 10:11 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 08:13 am IST - NEW DELHI

Ashraf Ghani. File photo: Reuters

Ashraf Ghani. File photo: Reuters

India has been invited to witness the ceremony to seal the peace deal between the U.S. and Taliban in Qatari capital Doha on Saturday, an official source has confirmed.


India’s acknowledgement came two days after a source privy to Taliban told The Hindu that around 24 countries are expected to participate in the ceremony where the deal will be signed. Officials here had earlier stated, that India’s participation as a witness would depend on the stance of the Government of President Ashraf Ghani.

An Indian official however reiterated India’s position that a peace negotiation should be “Afghan owned, Afghan led and Afghan controlled,” and a participation from the Afghan government in the ceremony will indicate that the U.S.-Taliban deal will ultimately take an inclusive turn. His statement hinted that India will take a call about sending a delegation for the ceremony if President Ghani sends a delegation to Doha.

A six-member Afghan delegation left Kabul on Thursday for Doha to conduct negotiation about the release of 5,000 Taliban fighters who are in custody of the Government of Afghanistan. This issue is already part of the draft peace agreement and Kabul is expected to deal with this soon after the U.S.-Taliban deal is signed on February 29. It is understood that the same six-member delegation will represent the Government of President Ghani in the ceremony and begin the intra-Afghan negotiation thereafter.

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