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Jaishankar meets Afghan peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah

India had traditionally backed the Afghan government in Kabul while the rebel Taliban have been backed by Pakistan (PTI)Premium
India had traditionally backed the Afghan government in Kabul while the rebel Taliban have been backed by Pakistan (PTI)

  • Abdullah was among those who were in Qatar earlier this month to kickstart stalled talks with the Taliban as amid escalating violence in Afghanistan after the departure of US-led troops on 1 July. It was widely expected that those talks would result in a ceasefire on the occasion of Eid

NEW DELHI: Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar on Friday held talks with Abdullah Abdullah, who heads the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) tasked with holding peace talks with the Taliban rebels.

“Always good to meet Chairman HCNR @DrabdullahCE.Appreciate his sentiments and support for our relationship. Value his insights on the region," the minister said in a Twitter post.

The meeting took place in New Delhi.

Abdullah was among those who were in Qatar earlier this month to kickstart stalled talks with the Taliban as amid escalating violence in Afghanistan after the departure of US-led troops on 1 July. It was widely expected that those talks would result in a ceasefire on the occasion of Eid – one of the holiest festivals in the Muslim calendar. A halt to the violence did not happen.

Clashes between the Taliban and government forces have only intensified after a major chunk of US-led international forces left on 1 July. News reports have said that the Taliban have encircled several provincial capitals, and captured several districts and border crossings in a bid to choke the government in Kabul off.

India had traditionally backed the Afghan government in Kabul while the rebel Taliban have been backed by Pakistan. India has said that there would be a question mark over the legitimacy of a government that seeks to come in through violence.

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