New Delhi, Jan 10 (IECurrentAffairs) India and the United States on Thursday shared their perspectives on peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.
The issue figured prominently during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
and the US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad here.
“Both sides shared their perspectives on peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan,” MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
New Delhi supports an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process with the Pakistan-backed Taliban not in government as part of any political settlement.
The Taliban have attended peace talks hosted by Russia and some other regional countries but declined to take part in formal parleys.
Mr Khalilzad begins a two-day visit to India on Thursday, his first after being appointed to the post in September 2018.
Sources said the announcement of Khalilzad’s visit follows a telephone conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump in which the two leaders had discussed stepping up cooperation in Afghanistan.
Mr Trump recently suggested that India should go beyond its existing role in supporting infrastructure development in the terror-ravaged country.
Last month, Trump ordered the Pentagon to prepare for the withdrawal of up to half of the roughly 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan even as this move in contrast to the position taken by the US administration in August 2017.
Khalilzad “will lead an interagency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from January 8 to 21,” the US state department said on Wednesday. “He will meet with senior government officials in each country to facilitate an intra-Afghan political settlement,” it said.