'Non-official' participation in Afghan meet in sync with India's policy: MEA

Non-official participation in Afghan meet in sync with Indias policy: MEA

New Delhi: India Friday made it clear that its participation at a multi-lateral conference on Afghanistan in Moscow in a "non-official" capacity was in sync with its Afghan policy, asserting that it was not talking to the Taliban.

India sent two former diplomats to the meeting Russia hosted Friday for peace in Afghanistan which was attended by representatives from several countries and the Taliban.

Replying to questions on why India sent representatives to the meeting, although in "non-official" capacity, when the Taliban was participating in it, spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar said India will be part of any peace process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

"We will participate in any process which is consistent with the policy we have for Afghanistan... It was decided by the government that our participation will be at non-official level," he said.

To a question on participation of Taliban in the meeting, he said,"where did we say that there will be talks with Taliban. We did not say that."

The conference organised by Russia was attended by representatives of Afghanistan as well as from several other countries including the US, Pakistan and China. "In our policy on Afghanistan which we have articulated and which has been consistent for quite sometime that we will be supportive of any process in Afghanistan is a party to the process," said Kumar.

Initially, the meeting was proposed for September 4 but it was called off after the Afghan government pulled out of it. India had also declined an invitation to the meeting then.

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