NEW DELHI: India, the US and Afghanistan have reaffirmed their shared interests in combating terrorism and advancing peace and security in the region as they explored ways to "coordinate and align" assistance to the war-torn country according to the Afghan government's priorities.
Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson met here yesterday on the margins of the 71st UN General Assembly for a round of trilateral consultations. They exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan and on "regional issues of mutual interest".
"Reaffirming their shared interests in advancing peace and security in the region, as well as countering terrorism, all sides welcomed the discussions focused on political, economic, and development goals in Afghanistan, including the regional dimension," a trilateral statement issued after the meeting said.
It added that the meeting provided a forum for the governments of India and the US to explore ways to coordinate and align their assistance with the priorities of the Afghan government. "They agreed that the dialogue helps advance shared values and goals, and decided to continue these consultations on a regular basis," it said.
During Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's visit to India last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced allocation of USD 1 billion to Afghanistan to meet requirements for capacity and capability building in spheres like education, health, agriculture, skill development, empowerment of women, energy, infrastructure and strengthening of democratic institutions.
US Secretary of State John Kerry had said late last month during his visit to New Delhi that Washington would launch trilateral talks, which had stopped in 2013, with New Delhi and Kabul at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
During the Second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) in the national capital earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said, "In view of the rapidly evolving regional and global situation, India looks forward to resuming the meeting of the trilateral with Afghanistan; consultations on Africa and on multilateral issues within this year".