Russia-hosted meet on Afghanistan has nothing to do with parleys with Taliban: MEA

Russia-hosted meet on Afghanistan has nothing to do with parleys with Taliban: MEA

Agency News

New Delhi, Nov 9: India on Friday said its decision to participate at the much talked about meeting in Moscow hosted by Russia on Afghanistan situation has anything to do with New Delhi holding parleys with the Afghan Taliban.

"Where did we say that there will be talks with the Taliban?," MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters at the weekly briefing here. He insisted in crystal clear terms: "....we did not say (this), we just said we will be participating in a meeting on Afghanistan which is hosted by Russia or that we have decided that non-official will be participating".

Answering questions on why and how a decision was taken to depute an 'non-official team', the MEA spokesman said: "It was decided by the Government of India that our participation will be at the non-official level. Beyond this, I really can't get into the details as to why it was at that level".

He explained further: "There are lot of factors that go into taking a decision, this time it was the considered decision of the Government of India that we will participate at the non-official level".

To a question, he answered that - "the term non-official is self explanatory". "I don't think I have to elaborate as to what this constitutes. The Non-official term is self explanatory," he added.

Asserting that India supports all efforts to ensure peace, security and stability in terror-ravaged Afghanistan, New Delhi on Thursday confirmed its participation in the multilateral talks on the Afghan situation in a Russia-initiated move but only at a 'non-official level'.

"Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level," MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar has said in reply to a query. "India's consistent policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with participation of the Government of Afghanistan," the spokesman has said. UNI