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Monday, Dec 16, 2019

Afghan talks: German official says India should back move

Potzel, who is in New Delhi to brief Indian interlocutors on Friday on the first round of the German-facilitated intra-Afghan dialogue held in Doha during July 7-8, stressed he was “not here to give advice to the Indian government”.

world Updated: Jul 19, 2019 08:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
(Twitter/ Markus Potzel)
         

India should consider endorsing the quadrilateral peace process by the US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China and the related intra-Afghan reconciliation process, German special representative for Afghanistan Markus Potzel said on Thursday.

Potzel, who is in New Delhi to brief Indian interlocutors on Friday on the first round of the German-facilitated intra-Afghan dialogue held in Doha during July 7-8, stressed he was “not here to give advice to the Indian government”. He has been to Kabul and Islamabad on the same mission and briefed the Iranian envoy in the Afghan capital.

The 71 delegates at the dialogue were drawn from all sections of Afghan society, the Kabul regime and the Taliban, and issued a joint statement calling for a reduction in violence.

Referring to the recent quadrilateral talks, Potzel said he was confident his US counterpart, Zalmay Khalilzad, wanted to bring India and other regional powers into the fold in the next round. “Germany wants India to play a role in the regional format,” he said.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters India is an important stakeholder in Afghanistan and holds regular consultations with active players such as Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and China on the issue. All peace initiatives must include all sections of Afghan society, including the elected government and India will back a reconciliation process that is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, he added.