India, US, Afganistan discuss transition at trilateral meet

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 17:03

New Delhi: Political, security and economic transition in Afghanistan besides specific cooperation projects were in focus during Tuesday`s trilateral meeting of India, US and Afghanistan which discussed various aspects of the situation in the war-torn country.

The official-level meet is also understood to have discussed ways to enhance cooperation to deal with common challenges and opportunities, including combating terrorism and violent extremism and increasing regional trade and investment.

The meeting came in the backdrop of the US` announcement of withdrawing 34,000 American troops from the war-torn country in the next one year.

"Since India, Afghanistan and US share a common vision of a peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, this trilateral dialogue provides useful opportunity to state views on broad-based subjects that are critical for transition and transformation that are underway in Afghanistan," YK Sinha, Additional Secretary (PAI) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said.

He said coordinated position based on strong conviction is "essential to ensure that we are all on the same page with respect to the situation as it unfolds in Afghanistan and the region".

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin, Sinha and Vikram Kumar Doraiswami, Joint Secretary (Americas) from India and Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake from the US lead their respective delegations.

The first India-US and Afghanistan trilateral was held in the US last September during which the three sides had free flowing and frank discussion on all aspects of the situation in Afghanistan.

Coming within days of US President Barack Obama announcing the specific troop withdrawal plan for Afghanistan, the latest meeting focussed on its impact and future strategy.

Announcing that 34,000 American troops will be withdrawn
from Afghanistan in the next one year, Obama showed confidence of ending a decade-long war by the end of 2014.

"In the agenda we have identified for main areas of discussion - political transition, security transition, economic transition and specific cooperation projects," Sinha said.

The recent meeting hosted in the UK by British Prime Minister David Cameron for presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan is also understood to have been discussed during the meet.

The UK meeting was also attended by top spies and military generals from the three countries.


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First Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 17:02

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