India committed towards peaceful, sovereign and stable Afghanistan: Jaishankar to Atmar

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar conveyed to his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Haneef Atmar India's long-term commitment towards a peaceful, sovereign and stable Afghanistan where the rights of all sections are protected within a democratic constitutional framework.

Jaishankar mentioned it during his extensive talks with Atmar on Monday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

The Afghan foreign minister was on a three-day India visit from March 22-24 primarily to discuss the Afghan peace process with Indian leaders and explore ways to further bolster bilateral cooperation in a range of areas including trade and investment, and defence.

'The external affairs minister (EAM) highlighted that enduring peace in Afghanistan is important for the peace, security and prosperity of the region and the world,' the MEA said in a statement on Wednesday.

It said Jaishankar underscored the importance of a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire for a successful Afghan peace process.

'EAM reassured the Afghan foreign minister of India's long-term commitment towards a peaceful, sovereign, stable and inclusive Afghanistan where the rights of all sections of the society are protected within a democratic constitutional framework,' the MEA said.

It said a range of issues were discussed during the meeting including India's extensive development partnership with Afghanistan, issues of mutual interest in the region and the world, and the Afghan peace efforts.

'The talks were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, with a very detailed and healthy exchange of views,' it added.

The MEA said the discussions focused on strengthening the India–Afghanistan strategic partnership, particularly cooperation in the areas of political, security, trade, economic, capacity development, education, social and cultural relations.

At a media briefing, Atmar said on Tuesday that India is part of the regional and international consensus building process on bringing peace to Afghanistan and that Kabul is seeking a greater role for New Delhi for it.

The Afghan foreign minister held talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval as well.

The Taliban and the Afghan government are holding direct talks to end 19 years of war that has killed tens of thousands of people and ravaged various parts of the country.

India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan. It has already invested USD two billion in aid and reconstruction activities in the country.

India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled. PTI MPB ZMN