First India-US-Afghan trilateral talks in New York



Washington: The first tri-lateral dialogue between India, the US and Afghanistan would be held in New York on the sidelines of the 6th annual session of the UN General Assembly.

The first of its kind meeting between officials from India, the US and Afghanistan would be held at the level of deputy foreign minister, informed diplomatic sources familiar with the preparations of the meeting told News Agencies.

The announcement in this regard was made during the India-US Strategic Dialogue held in Washington early this year, which was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Today we agreed to move forward with a formal trilateral consultation among our three nations," Clinton had said at a joint news conference on June 13.

The announcement was also reflected in the joint statement issued at the end of the strategic dialogue.

"To support their efforts in Afghanistan, they agreed to hold a trilateral dialogue with the Government of Afghanistan," said the joint statement.

However, both India and the US had clarified that the tri-lateral dialogue was not targeted against Pakistan, which has always been wary of New Delhi's role in Afghanistan.

Diplomatic sources pointed out that along with the India- Afghan-US trilateral dialogue, the United States would also hold another tri-lateral dialogue involving Pakistan, which would also be at the level of deputy foreign minister.

Launched at the start of the Obama Administration in early 2009, the Af-Pak-US tri-lateral dialogue was earlier held at the level of Foreign Minister.

PTI