Asia

Indian delegation meets Taliban officials in Kabul

An Indian delegation led by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Joint Secretary J.P. Singh met Taliban officials in Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday. The Indian delegation is in Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of India’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

“Today, IEA Acting Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi received Indian MEA Joint Secretary J.P. Singh and accompanying delegation. The meeting focused on India-Afghan diplomatic relations, bilateral trade and humanitarian aid,” Abdul Qahar Balki, Taliban spokesperson, said.

“India would consider assisting and working with Afghanistan in various fields, and whilst India has recently opened up its borders and ports for Afghanistan exports leading to increased Afghan exports compared to past years,they would provide further facilitates in this area to help Afghanistan further increase its exports & strengthen its economy. To end, they agreed to expand interactions between the two countries,” he added.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in Delhi: “The team will meet senior members of Taliban. They’ll also meet representatives of international organisations who are involved in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. We are focused on the security of our officials.”

The officials visited the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital, and power stations.

In a statement, the Ministry had said: “During the visit, the team will meet representatives of the international organisations involved in distribution of the humanitarian assistance. In addition, the team is expected to visit various places where Indian programmes/projects are being implemented.”

Under India’s humanitarian assistance, “we have already dispatched several shipments of humanitarian assistance consisting of 20,000 MTs of wheat, 13 tonnes of medicines, 500,000 doses of Covid vaccine and winter clothing”, the statement said.

“These consignments were handed over to the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital, Kabul and UN specialised agencies including WHO and WFP. Furthermore, India is in the process of shipping more medical assistance and foodgrains to Afghanistan.”

“We have also assisted Unicef by supplying almost 60 million doses of polio vaccine and two tonnes of essential medicines. India’s development and humanitarian assistance has received a wide spread appreciation across the entire spectrum of Afghan society,” the statement added.

According to the Ministry, the Indian team will also meet senior members of the Taliban, and hold discussions on New Delhi’s humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.


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