Doval meets Afghan leadership; discusses issues of mutual interest, counter-terrorism co-op

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Kabul, Jan 13 (PTI) National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who arrived here on a two-day unannounced visit, on Wednesday met the top Afghan leadership and discussed issues of strategic mutual interest as well as on synchronising efforts to combat terrorism and build the peace process.

Doval, who is leading a high-level delegation, called on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace here on Wednesday morning.

'Both sides discussed counter-terrorism cooperation and efforts for building regional consensus on supporting peace in Afghanistan,' said a brief statement issued by Arg, the Presidential Palace.

During the meeting, President Ghani said that the Afghan security forces are the righteous pillars of Afghanistan’s stability and are fighting in the front lines against the regional and global terrorism.

'Afghanistan and India in joint efforts with NATO and the United States will be able to succeed in the fight against terrorism,' President Ghani was quoted as telling Doval.

Doval in return said that India is willing to continue its cooperation with Afghanistan and is ready to continue talks on the common interests, the statement said.

Doval also met Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council of National Reconciliation, and discussed the peace process, the beginning of the second round of talks and the role of India in establishing peace in Afghanistan.

Abdullah Abdullah visited India in October last year on a five-day visit during which he held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Doval on the crucial peace initiative in the war-ravaged country.

Doval also met his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib and held extensive conversations on issues of strategic mutual interest, including on synchronising efforts to combat terrorism and build peace.

'@hmohib hosted his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and his high-level delegation from Delhi for a two-day visit in Kabul. The two sides held extensive conversations on issues of strategic mutual interest, including on synchronising efforts to combat terrorism and build peace,' the Office of the Afghan National Security Council tweeted.

Doval’s visit to Kabul comes at a time when the Taliban and the Afghan government are holding direct talks for the first time to end 19 years of war that has killed tens of thousands of people and ravaged various parts of the country.

On January 5, talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban resumed in Doha, Qatar.

India has been keenly following the evolving political situation after the US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February, 2020. The deal provided for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, effectively drawing curtains to Washington's 18-year war in the country. PTI ZH AKJ ZH ZH