Jaishankar discussed Afghanistan with Qatari leadership, Khalilzad

By The Hindu

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held talks on the situation in Afghanistan during two stopovers in Doha this week, the Ministry of External Affairs said, referring to his meetings with Qatari leaders and U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad.

According to sources, Mr. Jaishankar discussed ways for India and other countries involved in the reconciliation process to cooperate through the U.S. troops pullout over the next few months and in the post-pullout situation. He met the Qatari National Security Advisor and Foreign Minister, who are key to the process as the Taliban is headquartered in Doha, in two separate meetings during his transits during flights from Kuwait and return from Kenya.

“US Spl representative for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad happened to be in Doha during EAM’s visit and he called on EAM to brief him on recent developments in Afghanistan,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told journalists during a briefing.

Mr. Khalilzad was on a visit to the region including Kabul, Doha, and Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan’s capital) where he discussed plans for the pullout. The Istanbul process, that had been proposed by the U.S. for further Afghan-Taliban talks that would have eventually included India and other countries appears to have stalled for the moment, after the Taliban refused to attend.

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