US-Taliban Peace Deal: Qatar invites India

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Published: February 28, 2020 7:10 PM

Just ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to India, the US State Department in a release on had announced the agreement saying, "We are preparing for the signing to take place on February 29."

The US-Taliban Peace pact was also discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump had bilateral talks in New Delhi. (Reuters image)The US-Taliban Peace pact was also discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump had bilateral talks in New Delhi. (Reuters image)

India will be present at the US-Taliban deal which is expected to be inked on the weekend. “India has been officially invited by the government of Qatar to be a witness to the historic US Taliban deal. The Indian envoy P Kumaran will be representing the government on February 29 in Doha, Qatar,” according to a highly placed source. This will be the first official presence of India at an event involving the Afghan Taliban, though India had sent two non-official representatives to the Moscow Format talks with the Taliban last year.

Just ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to India, the US State Department in a release on had announced the agreement saying, “We are preparing for the signing to take place on February 29.”

And it had stated that the deal is dependent on “reduction of violence” and so far there has been no major violence in the landlocked South Asian country. The US State Department in its statement had also stated that “For delivering a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and for the future political roadmap for Afghanistan, the Intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon.”

The US-Taliban Peace pact was also discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump had bilateral talks in New Delhi.

Financial Express Online had reported that on Tuesday at a press conference, the US President in response to a question had said “India would like to see it happen. I had talked about this with Prime Minister Modi.”

After the announcement from the US, the Taliban later issued a release confirming the agreement will be signed with the US. Their statement talked about creating a suitable security situation ahead of the signing date and extends invitations to senior representatives of various countries and organizations to participate in the signing ceremony.

It also talked about the release of prisoners and creating a structure for intra-Afghan negotiations which would involve various political parties of the country.

India-Afghanistan

India has always remained very committed to an Afghan-led & Afghan-owned peace process. A process which retains Constitutional structures which have been put in place over the past two decades.

India has been playing a very important role in the rebuilding of the war-ravaged Afghanistan and has built the India-Afghanistan friendship dam in the western province of Herat and the Afghan Parliament in capital Kabul.

New Delhi has played a critical role in capacity building, trade and investment, technology cooperation and others.

It has also played a significant role in the development of the Chabahar port project which helps in improving the trade and connectivity between India, Iran and Afghanistan with Central Asian countries.

Also, India has put its efforts in the Air Freight Corridor programme with Afghanistan in 2017 — Kabul- Delhi, Kabul-Mumbai, Kabul-Kolkata, and Kabul-Amritsar.

Private airlines Spice Jet have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which connects Kabul with Indian metro cities.

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