For the first time, India will be talking to the Taliban but in a “non official” capacity during a multilateral meeting in Moscow on Friday.
Russia is hosting talks for peace in Afghanistan and has invited several countries including India, the US, Pakistan and China. The Taliban will also be part of the meeting.
“We are aware that the Russian Federation is hosting a meeting in Moscow on November 9 on Afghanistan,” foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to media queries.
India will be part of the talks at a non-official level and will be represented by Amar Sinha, who has served as India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, and T.C.A. Raghavan, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan.
The move by India came after Russian’s Vladimir Putin visited New Delhi last month for a annual bilateral summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and prosperity to the country,” Mr Kumar told reporters this evening.
This will be the first time that India will be a part of talks with Taliban for peace in Afghanistan.
Russian news agency Sputnik has reported that invitations for the meeting, what is being called the “Moscow Format” talks, has also been sent to Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
In September, during the visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani PM Modi had said that India was committed to the Afghanistan government’s efforts towards an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace and reconciliation process.