This will be the first time India will be face to face with the Taliban after the Islamic group captured Kabul on August 15

India will participate in the Moscow Format meeting on Afghanistan on October 20, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

“We have received an invitation for the Moscow Format meeting on Afghanistan on October 20 and we will be participating in it. This participation will be at the joint secretary level,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Chaudhary said during a press briefing on October 14.

Moscow Format is a negotiation mechanism established in 2017 to address the issues of Afghanistan. It includes countries like Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.

The US too had participated in the Moscow Format before. This is the first time the Taliban have been invited to the meeting, especially after they have formed their government in Afghanistan.

India has already made its position clear on Afghanistan that it will stand by the Afghan people. On the other hand, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked international community to ensure that Afghanistan territory should not be used for terrorism and that it should not become a source of radicalization.