India, Afghanistan take a hard line on Taliban at Moscow conference

  • India and Afghanistan took a hard line at the six-nation talks in Moscow on 15th February, 2017, opposing the dominant view from Russia, China and Pakistan to involve the Taliban in reconciliation efforts.

Important Statements Made:

  • External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that denying “safe havens or sanctuaries to any terrorist group or individual in countries of our region,” was essential to stabilising the situation in Afghanistan.
  • Reconciliation efforts must be driven by the Afghanistan government and could only be facilitated by “friends and well wishers of Afghanistan,” he said, indicating that the previous round of QCG (Quadrilateral Cooperation Group) hosted by Pakistan was not acceptable.
  • Another point of contention that emerged was over the composition of the talks hosted by Russia.
  • Afghanistan made a strong pitch for the United States to be included as one of its most important partners.
  • It said it was a necessary part of all processes to “end war and usher in sustainable peace in Afghanistan”.

Concluding Remarks

  • With U.S. troop levels down to their lowest of about 8,400 at the end of President Obama’s tenure, Afghanistan’s government has been hoping President Trump will increase assistance to the country.

Source:- The Hindu

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