India and seven other nations including Russia and Iran on Wednesday participated a regional summit to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan following the fall of the democratically-elected government in the country. Sources told News18 the dialogue exceeded expectations and the NSAs of the seven participating nations arrived at a consensus on the crisis in the neighbouring country.
Shortly after the summit, the attending nations issued a joint declaration where they reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan; and emphasised on respecting the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan.
“Every delegation was appreciative of the timing of the event and the opportunity to engage in frank and open discussions. Every country got opportunity to put across their views in a forthright manner,” sources familiar with the development said. The member nations also stressed that no one should boycott the process due to bilateral agendas, it added.
Sources added that there was unanimity on continuing the dialogue and convergence on the assessment of the situation including the security situation, heightened risk of terrorism and the impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
The third Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan was hosted by India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and attended by counterparts in Russia, Iran and five central Asian countries.
The pariticipants of the nations also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi The NSAs and had a very substantive exchange during the meeting. PM Modi shared India’s perspective on Afghanistan and the NSAs conveyed greetings from their leaders and appreciated India’s initiative of hosting the dialogue, sources said.
Chairing the meet, Doval said that it is time for closer consultations, greater cooperation and coordination among the regional countries to deal with the challenges emanating from Afghanistan. “We all have been keenly watching the developments in that country. These have important implications not only for the people of Afghanistan but also for its neighbours and the region,” he said.
The participating nations expressed deep concern over the suffering of the people of Afghanistan arising from the security situation in the war-torn country and condemned the terrorist attacks in Kunduz, Kandahar and Kabul.
India and seven other nations also emphasised that Afghanistan’s territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts. The declaration said the officials condemned in the strongest terms all terrorist activities and reaffirmed their firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms including its financing.
Later, NSA Ajit Doval had bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Russia, Kazakhstan and Iran. In the bilateral meetings, there were detailed discussions on Afghanistan as well as on bilateral relations, sources said.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev discussed on future high-level exchanges, defence cooperation and deepening interaction between the National Security Councils.
With the counterpart from Kazakhstan, there were a discussion on enhancing connectivity and trading routes between the two countries. Doval also met his counterpart from Iran where he discussed bilateral trade and current state of relations between the two countries. The duo also discussed on how to carry forward the dialogue.