Delhi Declaration For “Secure, Stable Afghanistan” At 8-Nation Dialogue

New Delhi:

Afghanistan and its territories cannot be used for sheltering or training terrorists, or to finance acts of terrorism, a regional security summit hosted by India and attended by eight nations, including Russia and Iran, announced on Wednesday afternoon.

A joint statement – the Delhi Declaration on Afghanistan – said the eight participating nations, who were represented by their respective national security advisors, discussed the evolving Afghan situation, especially the global ramifications following the Taliban’s takeover in August.

All countries paid special attention to the current political situation in Afghanistan, the statement said, adding that threats from terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking were also discussed.

The eight nations – India, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan – also underlined the need to offer Afghanistan all possible humanitarian assistance.

All countries “reaffirmed their firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalisation, to ensure Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism.”

Expressing “deep concern” for the Afghan people and the “deteriorating socio-economic and humanitarian situation (that) underlined the need to provide urgent assistance”, the Delhi Declaration also said it was critical to form “an open and truly inclusive government that represents the will of all of the people of Afghanistan and has representation from all sections of their society”.

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The statement also emphasised the “importance of ensuring the fundamental rights of women, children and minority communities”, particularly in light of news about attacks on these groups.

Further, the joint declaration also underscored the need to help Afghanistan contain COVID-19.

Earlier today, India’s NSA, Ajit Doval, called for close consultations and greater cooperation and coordination among nations of the region on the Afghan situation.

“These have important implications not only for the people of Afghanistan but also for its neighbours and the region,” Mr Doval said in his opening remarks, adding, “I am confident our deliberations will be productive, useful and will contribute to help the people in Afghanistan.”

This is for the first time all central Asian countries – Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan – and not just Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours, are participating in this dialogue.

China had been invited to attend but declined the invitation due to “scheduling reasons”. “We have already given our reply to the Indian side,” Wang Wenbin, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said.

Pakistan had also been invited but it too had opted against attending today’s meet.

Previous editions (2018 and 2019) of this dialogue were hosted by Iran.

With input from ANI, PTI

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