India Attends Moscow Format of Talks on Afghanistan

India and several other countries have called for creating a “truly inclusive” government in Kabul and eradicating terrorism from Afghan soil during their deliberations on the situation in that country under the Moscow format of consultations.

The Russian foreign ministry said the fourth meeting on Wednesday under the framework of the Moscow format of talks was attended by special representatives and senior officials from Russia, India, China, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The Russian foreign ministry said the participants expressed a consolidated demand for the “complete unfreezing” of Afghanistan’s assets by Washington.

“They resolutely urged the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries that were part of the 20-year-long military presence in Afghanistan, to compensate the Afghans for the damage done during this period,” it said.

It said representatives of Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were also present at the meeting as guests.

A joint statement released by the Russian foreign ministry said the meeting asked Kabul to take more visible steps against all terrorist organisations, and to “firmly fight, dismantle and eliminate them, so as to ensure that Afghanistan would never again serve as a “breeding ground, safe haven or source of proliferation for terrorism”.

It said the participants reaffirmed their readiness to assist Afghanistan in this regard.

“In this context, participants strongly condemned the terror attacks targeting innocent Afghan civilians at public places, including educational institutes and the recent attack at the Russian embassy in Kabul,” it said.

The ministry said the participants discussed the current developments in Afghanistan and the region around it.

“They emphasised the importance of creating a truly inclusive government in Afghanistan, which would reflect the interests of the key ethno-political groups and the need to remove the terrorist, drug and other threats emanating from that country,” it said in a statement.

The joint statement said the participants expressed support for the Afghan authorities in developing crop substitution programmes and cracking down on narcotics production and trafficking.

It also said the participants emphasised on the importance of forming a truly inclusive government in Afghanistan, reflecting the interests of all major ethno-political groups of that country.

“Underscoring that an economic meltdown in Afghanistan would lead to a mass exodus of refugees, promote extremism, terrorism and instability, concern was expressed about the aggravation of the migration situation around Afghanistan, which could pose a threat to the peace and stability in neighboring countries,” the joint statement said.

The Russian foreign ministry said it presented its ‘White Book’ on the civilian losses in Afghanistan due to the “illegal actions of the US and its allies” during the meeting.

“The participants agreed to continue coordinating regional efforts to promote inter-Afghan national reconciliation, and enhance security and stability in the region under the auspices of the Moscow Format of Consultations on Afghanistan and other efficient mechanisms,” it said.

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