India, Afghanistan takes a hard line on Taliban at Moscow conference
Oppose view of Russia, China, Pakistan to involve Taliban in reconciliation efforts
What has happened?
India and Afghanistan took a hard line at the six-nation talks in Moscow, opposing the dominant view from Russia, China and Pakistan to involve the Taliban in reconciliation efforts
Russia hosted representatives from six countries for discussions aimed at encouraging the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government
- Officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, China, Iran and India took part in the gathering, which came less than two months after a similar meeting between Russia, China and Pakistan.
- The United States, for the second time in a row, was not invited
- Denying “safe havens or sanctuaries to any terrorist group or individual in countries of our region,” was essential to stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan
- Reconciliation efforts must be driven by the Afghanistan government and could only be facilitated by “friends and well-wishers of Afghanistan
- Referring to Pakistan’s stand on “good/bad Taliban” echoed by officials in Moscow, and the talks between China and Taliban officials last year, Afghanistan’s representative said
- The key challenge to the process remains a policy selectivity by some to distinguish between good and bad terrorists, even though terrorism is a common threat that confronts the whole region, where if one of us doesn’t stand firm against it, others’ counter-terrorism efforts will not bear the results we all seek
- Afghanistan also made a strong pitch for the United States to be included as one of its most important partners