EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER S JAISHANKAR WILL JOIN THE INTRA-AFGHAN TALKS CEREMONY VIRTUALLY


India will be present at the intra-Afghan talks ceremony that will happen in a short while from now. The ceremony starts the process of negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. India will be present along with around 30 other countries at the ceremony.


All the countries that border Afghanistan have been invited, including Iran, Pakistan and many central Asian countries. An official negotiations will start on Monday.


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will join the ceremony virtually while Joint Secretary, Pakistan Afghanistan and Iran (PAI) division in ministry of external affairs, JP singh will be present physically.


Earlier this year, India was present at the signing of US-Taliban deal which was signed on February 29, 2020 in Doha. The then Indian envoy in Doha P Kumaran had represented India.


India is Afghanistan's major development partner and has built and has built India-Afghanistan friendship dam in the western province of Herat and the Afghan Parliament in capital Kabul.


The Afghan government's negotiating delegation left for Doha on Friday to start peace negotiations with the Taliban group. The Afghan government will be represented by Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Afghan President’s Special Representative on Peace Affairs Abdul Salam Rahimi and State Minister for Peace Affairs Seyed Sa’adat Mansour Naderi.


The Afghan government in a statement said, "President Ghani wishes success for the negotiating delegation of the Afghan Government on their mission to bring sustainable peace and stability to the country."


The Taliban said, "In line with the agreement signed between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the United States of America, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would like to declare its readiness to partake in the inauguration ceremony of Intra-Afghan Negotiations".


The United States welcomed the announcement of Afghanistan peace negotiations, saying, "This opportunity must not be squandered."


US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo is in Qatar to attend the opening ceremony of Afghanistan peace negotiations.