Moscow: India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday. Both held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral and regional issues. In a tweet, the Indian Embassy in Russia said, “NSA Ajit Doval met His Excellency President Putin. A wide range of bilateral and regional issues were discussed. It was agreed to continue working towards implementing the India-Russia Strategic Partnership.” Doval began a two-day visit to Russia on Wednesday. Earlier on Wednesday, he said that no country should be allowed to use Afghan territory for exporting terrorism and asserted that India will never abandon the people of Afghanistan in their time of need.
Addressing a multilateral security dialogue on Afghanistan in Moscow, Doval said an inclusive and representative regime in Kabul is in the larger interest of the Afghan society.
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Official sources said he also reaffirmed that the well-being and humanitarian needs of the people of Afghanistan is India’s top priority and will continue to guide New Delhi’s approach towards that country.
NSA Ajit Doval called on His Excellency President Putin. Wide ranging discussions on bilateral and regional issues. Agreed to continue working towards implementing the India-Russia strategic partnership. pic.twitter.com/SMHe6VI9ve– India in Russia (@IndEmbMoscow) February 9, 2023
Official sources said apart from Russia and India, representatives of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan participated in the fifth meeting of the secretaries of the Security Councils/NSAs on Afghanistan. In his remarks at the meeting, Doval said India “is and will remain” an important stakeholder in Afghanistan.
“We have always stood with the people of Afghanistan and will always support the collective efforts of the Afghan people to help build a prosperous and vibrant nation,” the sources quoted Doval as saying. He said that various issues related to Afghanistan including the country’s security situation and humanitarian challenges were discussed in the meeting.
In November 2021, the third round of this conference was held in Delhi under the chairmanship of Doval. The NSA said that terrorism has become a major threat to the region and stressed that there is a need for deeper intelligence and security cooperation among the member states to deal with such terrorist organizations. According to sources, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Daesh.
Doval also explained the importance of UN Security Council Resolution 2593, which called for the denial of sanctuary to terrorist organizations designated by the top UN body in the region, they said.
The NSA said that Afghanistan is passing through a difficult phase and “India will never abandon the Afghan people in their time of need”. He said that an inclusive and representative system is in the larger interest of the Afghan society.
“India has not yet recognized the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and has been pushing for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul. Following the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan following the seizure of power by the Taliban, India exported 40,000 MT Wheat, distributed 60 tonnes of wheat. Medicines, 5,00,000 Covid vaccines, winter clothes and 28 tonnes of disaster relief to the country.”
“India has provided new scholarships to 2,260 Afghan students, including 300 Afghan girls, during the last two years. India has been pushing for uninterrupted humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan to address the humanitarian crisis. In June last year, India re-established its diplomatic presence in Kabul by deploying a “technical team” at its embassy in the Afghan capital, the NSA further said.
India had withdrawn its officials from the embassy after the Taliban seized power in August 2021 following concerns over their safety. Doval’s visit to Moscow comes weeks before the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to visit India on March 1 and 2 to attend the meeting.
(with agency inputs)