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Taliban initiates talks with India in Qatar over safe evacuation, terrorism

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Taliban initiates talks with India in Qatar over safe evacuation, terrorism
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New Delhi: For the first time after the US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban initiated dialogue with India in Qatar over safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded over there, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.

The meeting took place at the Embassy of India, Doha, at the request of the Taliban side.

The ministry stated that Ambassador of India to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of Taliban's Political Office in Doha.

Discussions focused on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan. The travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wish to visit India also came up.

Ambassador Mittal raised India's concern that Afghanistan's soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner.

"The Taliban Representative assured the Ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed" stated the press release by MEA.

Stanekzai, known as Sheru, trained in the Indian Military Academy in 1982, rose to the ranks of Deputy Health Minister during the Taliban regime, and later served as a chief peace negotiator in Doha. He was also Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Taliban regime. The 58-year-old Pashtun comes from the Stanekzai clan. He can speak five languages and he served as Taliban's Political Office chief between 2015-2019.

Taliban had seized the war-ravaged country's capital Kabul on August 15 after then President, Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

On August 30, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Afghanistan, aiming to prevent the use of Afghan soil by terrorist organisations against any country. The resolution was adopted with 13 votes in favour while Russia and China preferred to abstain.

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TAGS:Taliban India Qatar safe evacuation 
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