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India Concerned at Direction of Events in Afghanistan: S Jaishankar

File photo of Union Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar. (ANI)
File photo of Union Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar. (Source: ANI)

Moscow: Voicing concern at the violence in Afghanistan, India on Friday (July 9) called for reduction in bloodshed in the nation and underlined that the “legitimacy aspect” of who should rule the country is of importance.

“Of course we are concerned at the direction of events in Afghanistan,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said while responding to a question during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

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“The point right now we stress is that we must see a reduction in violence. Violence cannot be the solution for the situation in Afghanistan,” Jaishankar said.

“At the end of the day, who governs Afghanistan has a legitimacy aspect of it. I think that is something which cannot and should not be ignored,” said Jaishankar.

For more than 30 years, there have been international conferences, there have been groups, there have been formats to discuss how to stabilise and bring about peace in Afghanistan, Jaishankar said, adding that the reason is because it has proven implications for regional security and regional stability.

“If we have to seek peace within Afghanistan and around, it’s important for India and Russia to work together to ensure that much of the progress in economic, social terms are maintained. We are committed to an independent, sovereign and democratic Afghanistan,” he said.

India, a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan, has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

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The US and the Taliban signed a landmark deal in Doha on February 29, 2020 after multiple rounds of negotiations to bring lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow US troops to return home from America’s longest war.

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The deal provided for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, effectively drawing curtains on Washington’s 18-year war with Taliban in the country.

India has said it was committed to steadfastly supporting Afghanistan during its transition.

(With inputs from PTI)

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