New Delhi (NVI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has underscored the importance of a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire for a successful Afghan peace process, in his meeting with Afghan foreign minister Haneef Atmar, who came on a visit to India to hold discussions with Indian leaders on the situation back home.
Jaishankar and Haneef Atmar held delegation level talks on Monday where the EAM highlighted that enduring peace in Afghanistan is important for the peace, security and prosperity of the region and the world, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement today.
During the high-level meeting, a range of issues were discussed including India’s extensive development partnership with Afghanistan, issues of mutual interest in the region and the world, and the Afghan peace efforts, MEA said.
EAM reassured the Afghan Foreign Minister of India’s long-term commitment towards a peaceful, sovereign, stable and inclusive Afghanistan where the rights of all sections of the society are protected within a democratic constitutional framework, it said.
The discussions focused on strengthening the India – Afghanistan Strategic Partnership, particularly cooperation in the areas of political, security, trade, economic, capacity development, education, social and cultural relations. EAM and the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan chair the Strategic Partnership Council (SPC), under the aegis of the India – Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement, the ministry said.
Recently, on February 9, EAM and Foreign Minister Atmar signed an MoU for the construction of Shatoot dam to provide drinking water to Kabul city, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.
During his visit here, Haneef Atmar also thanked India for the development cooperation of US$ 3 billion and implementation of projects which have benefited all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. He also met NSA Ajit Doval during the visit, according to the Ministry.
The Afghan leader’s visit to India came amid hectic peace talks with Taliban, even as India was not invited in a multi-nation conference hosted by Russia in Moscow last week, on the Afghan peace process.
Russia, host of the multi-nation conference called the ‘expanded Troika’ did not invite India, toeing the Pakistani line that New Delhi has no direct stakes in Afghanistan. Russia’s attitude is conspicuous considering that it has been India’s traditional partner.