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Newest Information India’s presence at talks with Taliban an essential step, says Zalmay Khalilzad

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The U.S. particular envoy met Exterior Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Nationwide Safety Advisor Ajit Doval for a 90-minute dialogue on the Intra-Afghan Negotiations course of.

The Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN) which might be beneath manner in Doha are an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” course of eventually, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad mentioned, calling India’s decision to take part in the event involving the Taliban an “essential step”. Nevertheless, he mentioned neither the U.S. nor India can ‘impose’ what political system Afghan representatives select to undertake after the talks, neither is it but sure that the beginning of talks will see the declaration of a ceasefire quickly.

“India has all the time mentioned there ought to be an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led course of and [External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar] repeated that stand,” Mr. Khalilzad mentioned in an unique interview to The Hindu, shortly after his go to to Delhi on Tuesday.

Additionally learn | Last Indian hostage returns from Afghanistan, as intra-Afghan talks with Taliban begin in Doha

“You may say that earlier than it was an American-led Afghan course of…however now it’s an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned course of, with the delegations sitting throughout the desk from one another, with out a foreigner sitting within the room, for the primary time. These teams, or combatants, at the moment are speaking with one another to barter a roadmap for the way forward for their nation,” Mr. Khalilzad mentioned.

Throughout his temporary go to, Mr. Khalilzad and his U.S. delegation met Mr. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval for a 90-minute dialogue on the IAN course of. Whereas he welcomed India’s choice to affix the occasion and to ship a senior degree delegation there, Mr. Khalilzad declined to touch upon whether or not India has now determined to open talks with the Taliban immediately and whether or not this was mentioned between them.

In his speech on the IAN, Mr. Jaishankar had urged the negotiators to not lose the ‘progress’ that Afghanistan has made within the final 20 years after the autumn of the Taliban and the institution of a democratic nation. When requested, nevertheless, the U.S. particular envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation mentioned it was as much as the Afghan negotiating groups to resolve.

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“We clearly aren’t in search of to impose our political system on the Afghans, they should resolve that by means of negotiations, whether or not it’s for an electoral democracy or another system,” Mr. Khalilzad mentioned on issues that the Taliban will search to impose each Islamic Sharia code and dismiss the democratic course of as they did when in energy from 1996-2001.

“However there are common values that we are going to watch, and we hope they’ll embody, together with the freedoms for minorities, ladies, rule of legislation, ending corruption, democracy, elections and a free press. We’ll see what they do…In the event that they don’t respect these values, we must reassess at that juncture,” he mentioned.

Mr. Khalilzad’s feedback run counter to an announcement by Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh that there could be no compromise on the “political framework” of Afghanistan.

“If [Taliban] wish to violate the framework, it’s going to hurt them and their supporters,” Mr. Saleh was quoted as saying on Monday, including that he had been assured of that by the U.S. delegation which incorporates Mr. Khalilzad and U.S. Nationwide Safety Senior Director Lisa Curtis.

The variations underline Mr. Khalilzad’s activity within the subsequent few weeks as he continues to shuttle between Doha, the place the Taliban negotiators are primarily based, Kabul the place he’s talking with the Ghani authorities, and Islamabad the place he reportedly sought the Pakistan Military chief’s help in guaranteeing flexibility from the Taliban management primarily based there on guaranteeing a discount of violence, throughout a go to on Monday.

“We might anticipate to see our four-point settlement adopted: guaranteeing no assaults on U.S. and its allies from Afghan soil, the gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops, Intra-Afghan Negotiations after which discussions on a everlasting ceasefire. So, whereas I believe a ceasefire is unlikely instantly, it’s possible as an consequence of the talks,” Mr. Khalilzad instructed The Hindu over a phone name whereas returning to Doha.

Requested how he noticed India’s function within the IAN going ahead, Mr. Khalilzad mentioned given Afghanistan’s “complicated geography and the function of nations within the area and past”, the end result of the talks have to be supported by all to make sure Afghanistan’s ‘prosperity’ by means of commerce, funding and connectivity.

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