Keen to maintain strong ties with Russia despite the Western pressure in the wake of the Ukraine conflict, India participated in the fourth meeting of the ”Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan” held in the Russian capital yesterday.
Special envoys and senior officials from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan also participated in the meeting.
“During the meeting, the participants discussed issues related to Afghanistan, including the current humanitarian situation and the ongoing efforts of various stakeholders to provide assistance, intra-Afghan talks, and formation of an inclusive and representative government, efforts to counter threats of terrorism and ensuring regional security,” a statement from Ministry of External Affairs said.
The Moscow format — one of the several dialogue platforms on Afghanistan — began before the Taliban takeover of Kabul. J P Singh, Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran) represented India at the talks.
A joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said the participants discussed the current situation in Afghanistan with an emphasis on regional security, military-political stability, and socioeconomic and humanitarian issues.
The statement reiterated the countries’ commitment to a peaceful, unified, sovereign, independent and economically developing Afghanistan, free from the threats of terrorism and drug trafficking.
Afghanistan was asked to fulfill its commitments to eradicate terrorism and drug trafficking emanating from its territory, take more visible steps against all terrorist organisations, and firmly fight, dismantle and eliminate them, so as to ensure that the country would never again serve as a breeding ground, safe haven or source of proliferation for terrorism.
The importance of forming a truly inclusive government in Afghanistan, reflecting the interests of all major ethno-political groups of the country, was emphasised. The importance of practical engagement with Afghanistan in this regard was also highlighted.
Underscoring that an economic meltdown in Afghanistan would lead to a mass exodus of refugees, and promote extremism, terrorism and instability, concern was expressed about the aggravation of the migration situation around Afghanistan, which could pose a threat to the peace and stability in neighboring countries.