India must back Taliban talks, says German envoy

He is here to discuss outcome of intra-Afghan dialogue
Urging the government to publicly express support for the ongoing peace process with the Taliban, the German special envoy on Afghanistan has said that the international community would like to see a larger regional role for India in the ongoing conflict and its resolution. Ambassador Markus Potzel is in Delhi for talks with Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on the outcome of the intra-Afghan dialogue held in Doha on July 7-8, as well as the larger peace process between Taliban representatives and U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad who met at the same time. “I am here to brief the Indian government, and I wanted to share my information about Doha and the Intra-afghan dialogue,” Mr. Potzel, who organised the Doha talks told a select group of journalists ahead of his meetings in South Block on Friday. The talks in Doha co-sponsored by Germany and Qatar ended with an unprecedented joint statement agreed to by more than 60 representatives of the Taliban and Afghan government officials (in their personal capacities), civil society members, politicians and women leaders. The statement included a commitment to reduce violence and bring civilian casualties “to zero”. In a statement ahead of the German envoy’s meetings, the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated India’s traditional position on supporting only an “Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled” process, which includes the government in Kabul. “We believe that all initiatives and processes must include all sections of the Afghan society, including the legitimately elected government. Any process should respect the constitutional legacy and political mandate and should not lead to any ungoverned spaces where terrorist and their proxies can relocate,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday, in a veiled reference to Pakistan-sponsored groups in Afghanistan and the Taliban, that continue to carry out terror attacks and refuse to hold direct talks with the Ghani

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/india-must-back-taliban-talks-says-german-envoy/article28567461.ece

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