New Delhi, Oct 8 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday conveyed to Afghan peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah India's commitment towards sustainable peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and welcomed efforts towards a permanent ceasefire in the country.
Abdullah, accompanied by an Afghan delegation, met Modi and briefed him about the ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban in Doha.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing that the prime minister reaffirmed India's long-term commitment to further deepening the historical ties between India and Afghanistan.
He said Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, appreciated India's developmental commitment of USD 3 billion, projects under which are benefiting Afghans across all of its 34 provinces.
'The prime minister reiterated India's commitment towards sustainable peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and welcomed efforts towards a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan,' he said.
Referring to talks between Abdullah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday, Srivastava said the Afghan peace process and related issues including increased levels of violence in Afghanistan figured in the meeting.
Following the meeting, Abdullah tweeted that Modi assured him of India's continued support for the peace process in Afghanistan.
Abdullah arrived here on Tuesday on a five-day visit as part of the efforts to build a regional consensus and support for the Afghan peace process.
'Pleased to meet HE Narendra Modi @narendramodi, the Prime Minister of Republic of #India. In our friendly discussion we took stock of the latest developments on the #AfghanPeaceProcess, the talks in Doha, & India's support for the peace efforts,' Abdullah said on Twitter.
'HE PM assured me of India's continued support for the peace process, & Afghanistan. I thanked him & the people of India for the invitation, & generous hospitality. I also thanked India for its principled position on the #AfghanPeaceProcess,' he said.
The visit of the influential Afghan leader to India comes in the midst of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha.
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 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.
On September 12, an Indian delegation attended the inaugural ceremony of the intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha while S Jaishankar joined it through video conference.
India has been keenly following the evolving political situation after the US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February. The deal provided for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, effectively drawing curtains to Washington's 18-year war in the country.
The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001.
India has also been maintaining that care should be taken to ensure that any such process does not lead to any 'ungoverned spaces' where terrorists and their proxies can relocate. India has been calling upon all sections of the political spectrum in Afghanistan to work together to meet the aspirations of all people in that country including those from the minority community for a prosperous and safe future. PTI MPB ZMN