Rezaul H Laskar

New Delhi

India and Iran have expressed concern concerning the deteriorating safety state of affairs in Afghanistan and referred to as for strengthening intra-Afghan dialogue to discover a complete political answer towards the backdrop of the drawdown of US and worldwide forces.

The state of affairs in Afghanistan figured in exterior affairs minister S Jaishankar’s assembly together with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in Tehran on Wednesday. Jaishankar additionally met president-elect Ayatollah Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi when he made a transit halt within the Iranian capital whereas travelling to Russia.

Jaishankar’s stopover in Tehran coincided with a gathering in Tehran between an Afghan authorities delegation and Taliban representatives that was organized by the Iranian authorities. This was the primary formal contact between the 2 sides since talks in Qatar stalled a number of months in the past.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi mentioned on Thursday the Indian and Iranian sides exchanged views on regional and world points throughout Jaishankar’s technical halt in Tehran. “They also discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan and expressed concerns over the deteriorating security there,” he mentioned.

An announcement issued by Iran’s international ministry mentioned the 2 sides “stressed the need to strengthen intra-Afghan dialogue in Afghanistan which leads to a comprehensive political solution”. The assertion added that Jaishankar referred to the talks between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban in Tehran, and “thanked Iran for its efforts to bring the two sides closer to a comprehensive political solution”.

Western safety officers have mentioned the Taliban have captured greater than 100 districts in Afghanistan, whereas the insurgents declare to carry greater than 200 districts in 34 provinces. Main cities and provincial capitals stay beneath the management of presidency forces.

India, which has been maintaining a cautious eye on the combating, has mentioned its embassy in Kabul and consulates in Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif are at present useful. However, individuals aware of developments mentioned on situation of anonymity that officers are intently monitoring the extraordinarily fluid state of affairs and plans are being framed to cater for all contingencies, together with the evacuation of Indian nationals and diplomats.

Bagchi mentioned, “We are carefully monitoring the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and its implications on the safety and security of Indian nationals in Afghanistan. Our response will be calibrated accordingly.”

The spokesperson additional mentioned India and Iran additionally mentioned joint connectivity initiatives within the area, such because the International North-South Transport Corridor and Chabahar port. Jaishankar “reiterated India’s interests in the region and support for efforts to maintain peace, security and stability”, he added.

Jaishankar additionally handed over a congratulatory message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Iranian president-elect.

Iran’s international ministry mentioned Jaishankar and Zarif mentioned the “prospects for the Vienna talks” on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal, and cooperation in transport and communications, together with the Chabahar port, to advertise convergence within the area.

Since the US pulled out of the JCPOA beneath the previous Trump administration, India has persistently backed a negotiated settlement of the problem.

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