US special envoy Khalilzad, Jaishankar discuss future steps in furthering Afghan peace process

New Delhi, Sep 15 (UNI) US Special Representative on Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday discussed future steps and possible cooperation between India and the US in furthering the Afghan peace process. During the meeting, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla were also present, Sources in the government establishment said here.

Ambassador Khalilzad, who arrived India on Tuesday, appreciated India’s participation in the Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN) held in Doha on September 12.

He briefed about the US assessment of IAN and shared the US perspective on the Afghan peace process, sources added.

“They also deliberated upon how to promote regional and international cooperation with regard to Afghanistan,” the sources said.

Today’s discussions are a reflection of the India-US strategic partnership which provides for close consultations between the two countries on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, they said.

Last time Ambassador Khalilzad visited India on May 7 on a similar mission. This was his 5th visit to India since January 2019.

On Saturday, India attended the talks in Doha, where a senior official participated in-person and External Affairs minister S Jaishankar joined-in virtually.

During the address, Mr Jaishankar said that the peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

“Addressed the conference on Afghan peace negotiations at Doha today. Conveyed that the peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, respect national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, promote human rights and democracy, ensure interest of minorities, women and the vulnerable, effectively address violence across the country,” Mr Jaishankar had said in a tweet.

“The friendship of our peoples is a testimony to our history with Afghanistan. No part of Afghanistan is untouched by our 400-plus development projects. Confident that this civilizational relationship will continue to grow,” he added.

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