NSA Ajit Doval with his Uzbekistan counterpart Victor

With focus on Afghanistan, NSA Ajit Doval holds bilateral talks with Tajik and Uzbek counterparts

Image Source : PTI

NSA Ajit Doval with his Uzbekistan counterpart Victor Makhmudov and other dignitaries during their meeting, in New Delhi.

Ahead of a regional security dialogue on Afghanistan, NSA Ajit Doval and his Uzbek counterpart Victor Makhmudov on Tuesday held that the new Afghan regime should first seek legitimacy within that country before looking for international recognition, official sources said.

Doval held separate bilateral talks with Makhmudov and  Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda, the secretary of Tajikistan’s security council, with a broad focus on developments in Afghanistan including the looming humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country and the possible threat of terrorism from Afghan soil.

Makhmudov and Mahmudzoda are in Delhi to attend the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan that will be chaired by Doval on Wednesday.

India is hosting the dialogue to firm up a common approach for practical cooperation in confronting increasing threats of terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul.

Apart from  Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan is also being attended by top security czars of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.

China was invited to the dialogue but it has already communicated that it would be unable to attend it because of scheduling issues while Pakistan too decided to skip it.

In their bilateral talks, Doval and  Mahmudzoda had a detailed exchange of views on Afghanistan, with significant convergence of assessments, the sources said.

They said concerns were expressed on the sharp increase in terrorist threats from Afghanistan in the recent past and that the Tajik side highlighted the gravity of the situation in Afghanistan.

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The looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan also figured in the talks.

“On the bilateral side, discussions took place on deepening cooperation in areas like defence, border management and border infrastructure development,” a source said.

On Doval’s talks with his Uzbek counterpart, the sources said Afghanistan was the major focus of discussions with both sides agreeing that the future of the country must be decided by the Afghan people.

“They felt that the legitimacy of any Afghan government within Afghanistan was important before the issue of its international recognition,” the source said.

“Both sides emphasised the need for Afghanistan’s neighbours to ensure unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” it said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar too met  Makhmudov.

“Glad to receive Victor Makhmudov, Secretary of the Security Council of Uzbekistan. Appreciated the exchange of perspectives on Afghanistan. Noted the progress in our bilateral ties,” Jaishankar tweeted.

About the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue, sources said earlier that all the participating countries have a “very high degree of convergence” on the security implications of the Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan and the focus of the deliberations will be to have cooperation on practical terms to deal with the challenge.

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