India Afghanistan discuss expansion of ties, Doha peace process

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Mohammad Hanif Atmar with his Indian counterpart, S Jaishankar on Monday (ANI)
Mohammad Hanif Atmar with his Indian counterpart, S Jaishankar on Monday (ANI)

New Delhi [India], March 23 (ANI): Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Monday held talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on various issues, including the expansion of bilateral relations and the peace process in Afghanistan.

"Foreign Minister Md Hanif Atmar met his Indian counterpart, S Jaishankar on Monday to discuss expansion of bilateral relations, strengthening of regional and international consensus on Afghan peace talks, economic cooperation, and regional connectivity," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Afghanistan in an official statement.

Atmar arrived in New Delhi on Monday for a three-day working visit to discuss a wide range of issues with the Indian government, including the international efforts to unblock the Afghan peace process in Doha and briefed Jaishankar on the results of last week's Moscow conference on Afghanistan.

The two sides reviewed the Troika Peace Meeting in Moscow and assessed the final declaration of the meeting as positive for strengthening and advancing the peace process.

Also, India stated its readiness to participate in regional conferences on peace and development in Afghanistan, including the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process in Tajikistan and Peace Talks in Turkey, read the statement.

The two sides also discussed regional connectivity projects, including the development of railways from Central Asia to South Asia via Afghanistan, read the statement.

They also discussed the expansion of the Chabahar port and enhancing trade between the two countries.

The two sides agreed to form specialised working groups in various fields to strengthen economic and development cooperation and to follow up on the planned projects at technical levels.

Atmar also thanked and appreciated India's effort for providing USD 3 billion for economic and development assistance to Afghanistan in the past two decades.

He also expressed his gratitude to India for the delivery of 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine, and for providing 75,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan.

Talking about the Shatoot Dam, Atmar lauded India's commitment and cooperation for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for its construction. (ANI)