Delhi: India will be present at the intra-Afghan talks that is scheduled to take place between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban on Saturday in Qatar’s Doha. The talks will start the process of negotiations and India will be present along with 30 other countries. All the countries that border Afghanistan have been invited.

Earlier in 2020, India was present at the signing of the US-Taliban deal on February 29 in Doha and the then Indian envoy in Doha P Kumaran represented India. India is Afghanistan’s major development partner and has built the India-Afghanistan friendship dam in the western province of Herat and the Afghanisthan Parliament in capital Kabul. 

The Afghanistan government negotiating delegation left for Doha on Friday to start the peace negotiations with the Taliban group. Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Afghan President’s Special Representative on Peace Affairs Abdul Salam Rahimi and State Minister for Peace Affairs  Seyed Sa’adat Mansour Naderi will represent the Afghanisthan government.

An official statement said, “President Ghani wishes success for the negotiating delegation of the Afghan Government on their mission to bring sustainable peace and stability to the country, which is the long-awaited aspiration of the people of Afghanistan.”

The Taliban also in a statement confirmed the beginning of talks saying, “In line with the agreement signed between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the United States of America, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would like to declare its readiness to partake in the inauguration ceremony of Intra-Afghan Negotiations.”

The US welcomed the announcement that Afghanistan peace negotiations saying the “start of these talks marks a historic opportunity for Afghanistan to bring an end to four decades of war and bloodshed” and “this opportunity must not be squandered”. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will travel to Qatar to attend the opening ceremony of Afghanistan peace negotiations.

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