Modi gives Kabul full assist in peace talks

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered full support to the Kabul Government in its peace talks with the Taliban, a key figure in Afghan peace talks said Afghanistan and its allies must be prepared for any eventuality after US President Donald Trump said no American troops would be left in Afghanistan by Christmas.

“In November, part of the withdrawal will be completed. That’s what we are aware of. And, some numbers will be left beyond that,” said Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, while clearly indicating that Trump’s announcement has caught all stakeholders by surprise.

Earlier in the day, Abdullah Abdullah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi who reaffirmed India’s long term commitment to further deepening the historical ties between India and Afghanistan.

The two leaders discussed issues of bilateral and regional interest. Dr Abdullah Abdullah briefed the Prime Minster on the Afghan peace process and the ongoing talks in Doha.

The Afghan leader admitted that the peace process was going much slower than envisaged but said patience for a long haul was needed because this was the first time that people who had been on the battlefield against each other for 30 years were sitting across the table.

PM Modi also reiterated India’s commitment towards sustainable peace in Afghanistan and welcomed efforts towards a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire.

On Wednesday, NSA Ajit Doval called on Abdullah and discussed the increased levels of violence across Afghanistan and peace and security in the region.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will call on Abdullah on Friday.

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