Engaging with Taliban depends on India’s will: Abdullah Abdullah
The Afghan leader said it depends on the Indian government's decision on engaging with the Taliban.
On a five-day visit to India, Afghan leader and Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah on Saturday said during his discussions with Indian leadership, he didn’t ask for direct engagement from New Delhi to tackle the Taliban in Afghanistan.
“The topic of discussion was around peace in what was going on in the negotiations and what different countries can do. India as an important country, which has helped Afghanistan throughout many years, has a lot at stake in peaceful Afghanistan. The continuation of the war is an adverse impact,” the visiting Afghan leader said.
He said it depends on the Indian government's decision on engaging with the Taliban.
“I did not ask directly for engagement with the Taliban but at the same time, I encouraged the peace process as a whole in general,” he said.
When asked whether Afghanistan wants India to engage with the Taliban, he said, “It depends on the Indian government's decision. But as a whole, India is supportive of the peace process which is important.”
Yesterday, Abdullah Abdullah had a meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and both had held wide ranging talks on bilateral and regional issues.
“Pleased to meet Chairman HCNR @DrabdullahCE. A good discussion on our bilateral cooperation and regional issues. Welcomed his insights and perspectives on recent developments. As a neighbor, India remains committed to peace, prosperity, and stability in Afghanistan,” said Jaishankar in a tweet.
During the meeting, both sides also exchanged their views on the Afghan peace process.
“As always pleased to meet HE @DrSJaishankar, the External Affairs Minister of India. We exchanged views on the #AfghanPeaceProcess, bilateral relations, & regional support for peace efforts. He assured me of India’s full support for peace in Afghanistan,” Abdullah Abdullah tweeted.
On Thursday, Abdullah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he appreciated Indian’s developmental commitment of US$ 3 billion, projects under which are benefiting Afghans across all of its 34 provinces, and both leaders committed to strengthening bilateral ties.
“Pleased to meet HE Narendra Modi @narendramodi, the Prime Minister of Republic of #India. In our friendly discussion we took stock of the latest developments on the #AfghanPeaceProcess, the talks in Doha, & India’s support for the peace efforts,” Abdullah tweeted after the meeting.
The Afghan leader arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday. A day after, he held discussions with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval where the latter raised concerns over violence in Afghanistan.
India, Afghanistan relationship is not limited to high-level exchanges between the governments of the two sides, but has its foundations in the historical contacts between the people.