Support all peace initiatives: India on Afghan peace deal

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New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) As US and Taliban negotiators reached close to an agreement that would reduce fighting and allow full peace talks among Afghans, India on Monday said it supports all peace initiatives that focus on providing a stable political situation as well as guarantee of peace with stability.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s comments came hours after US Special Envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad shared “key details” of the US-Taliban draft agreement with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. The agreement has been reached after the ninth round of US-Taliban talks which were concluded over the weekend.

Addressing a press briefing, Gokhale said India supports all peace initiatives and that it has been a part of all of them.

If India initially has not been part of any such initiative, it has been supportive of them in later stages, he added.

“Our issue has been what would have been a post-settlement situation.”

In this regard, the Foreign Secretary said “our position is very clear and we prefer a system which has constitutional legitimacy, a political mandate, ensured stability, which does not leave ungoverned space for the terrorists and for the proxies to take advantage of”.

On Russia and India’s engagement on peace in the war-torn nation, Gokhale said: “As far as India and Russia are concerned, New Delhi and Moscow shares a common ground in Afghanistan.”

He said both India and Russia believe that at the end of the process – whatever is the outcome of the discussion between Taliban and US – they want to see a stable political situation where there is order and a guarantee that the peace agreement will be honoured.

“India has been supporting an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled national peace and reconciliation process in the war-torn country.”

In early August, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met Khalilzad and discussed the ongoing peace efforts.

–IANS

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