‘Situation in Afghanistan has direct implication for regional security’: EAM Jaishankar
Afghanistan has turned into a battle ground with the Taliban fighting the government forces for Kabul's control
India on Friday expressed concern over the situation in Afghanistan, stating it has a direct implication for regional security.
“The situation in Afghanistan occupied a lot of our attention because it has a direct implication for regional security. We are both committed to an independent, sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
Calling for reduction in violence in the insurgency-hit country, Jaishankar said, “We believe that the immediate need of the day is really a reduction in violence and if we have to see peace within Afghanistan and around Afghanistan.”
EAM Jaishankar who is on a three-day visit to Russia also laid emphasis on the need of New Delhi and Moscow to work together for Afghanistan. “It is important for India and Russia to work together and ensure that much of the progress that we’ve seen in economic, social and democratic terms are maintained.”
Besides Afghanistan, the EAM said he spoke in some detail with the Russian Foreign Minister on the situation in Syria, Iran and Libya.
“Beyond Afghanistan we spoke in some detail on what was happening in Syria, about the Iran issue, spent some time on Libya and we both have long standing interests in the region. We believe that peace and stability in such a sensitive region is very important for global interest,” Jaishankar said.
As regarding India-Russia bilateral engagement, he said, “A new dimension that has been added to our relationship of course is the agreement to hold the 2+2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers.” The EAM said India and Russia will hold this dialogue as per mutual convenience this year.
Stating that both countries are very satisfied with the all-round development of relations between the two countries, he maintained, “Lot of our cooperation is focused on the nuclear, space, energy and defence sectors.”
“The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project is on track and you heard Foreign Minister Lavrov tell you that the concrete first pour for Unit 5 has taken place. Space again has both practical and I would say symbolic importance for our relationship. You have been our original and strongest partners on the space side,” the EAM said.
With regard to energy cooperation, he said, “The energy cooperation between us has grown very significantly in the last few years and we see that today reflected both in new potential investments and long term commitments which we have agreed to in the field of oil and gas. Our defence military technical cooperation but I would say even industrial collaboration today has been strengthened by Russian interest in the Make in India programme, which is very visible.”