India kept out of extended Troika talk on Afghanistan by Russia
With the situation worsening in Afghanistan, India has not been invited to take part in a meeting convened by Russia in which Pakistan, China, and the US are attending. The meeting will take place on August 11 in Qatar under the “extended Troika” grouping. Taliban’s liaison leaders are also stationed in Qatar. As the Taliban continues its offensive in Afghanistan, Russia has stepped up efforts to reach out to all key stakeholders in the war-torn country to stop the violence and push the Afghan peace process.
It is still unexplained by Indian diplomats, why Russia avoided India from the meeting while Pakistan and China are invited to discuss the current scenario in Afghanistan. Russia has also been holding the ‘Moscow Format’ of talks to bring peace and creating conditions for the process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan. Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Tashkent that Russia will continue to work with India and other countries which can influence the situation in Afghanistan.
India is yet to comment on the upcoming extended Troika meeting. Meanwhile, Afghan Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay described as a positive development the decision to hold a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on August 6 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
Following the comments, there was speculation that India may be included in the upcoming ‘extended Trioka’ meeting. “We will continue working with the Americans in the extended Troika format as well as with all other countries that can influence the situation in Afghanistan, including our partners from Central Asia, India, Iran, and the US,” he had told reporters.
Though Russia has differences with the US on various dimensions of the Afghan conflict, both countries are now pushing for the intra-Afghan talks and to put an end to the widespread violence being perpetrated by the Taliban. India is yet to comment on the upcoming extended Troika meeting. Meanwhile, Afghan Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay described as a positive development the decision to hold a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on August 6 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
India’s ambassador to the UN T S Tirumurti announced that the UN Security Council will meet on Friday under Indian Presidency to discuss and take stock of the situation in Afghanistan. “Convening an emergency UN Security Council Session on Afghanistan is a positive development. UN & international community must play a greater role to stop the unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan due to violence & atrocities by terrorists. Thank you, India for the lead role as UNSC President,” Mamundzay tweeted.
Convening an emergency UN Security Council Session on Afghanistan is a positive development. UN & international community must play a greater role to stop the unfolding tragedy in 🇦🇫 due to violence & atrocities by terrorists. Thank you India for the lead role as UNSC President. https://t.co/3s6cBFY8vB
— Farid Mamundzay फरीद मामुन्दजई فرید ماموندزی (@FMamundzay) August 5, 2021
The decision to hold the UNSC meeting came two days after Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammed Hanif Atmar spoke to his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on the convening of an emergency session of the UN Security Council to stop the Taliban’s violence. India holds the presidency of the UNSC for the month of August.
The Taliban has been making rapid advances across Afghanistan by resorting to widespread violence since the United States began withdrawing its troops from the country on May 1. The US has already pulled back the majority of its forces and is looking to complete the drawdown by August 31. India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan. It has already invested nearly USD 3 billion in aid and reconstruction activities in the war-ravaged country. India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled.
[with PTI and AP inputs]
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