New Delhi: India said on Thursday that it is closely following the Afghan peace talks between the US, China, Russia and Pakistan with the Taliban and is in "regular consultation" with the "active players" on the issue.
"As a close neighbour and an important stakeholder in Afghanistan, we are closely following the developments related to the peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. The US side briefs us on their talks from time to time," said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar at his weekly media briefing. He said India is also in "regular consultation with other active players like all political forces in Afghanistan -- Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and China -- on this issue."
On Friday, India will exchange views with the special representative from Germany who is responsible for intra-Afghan dialogue. He stated India's position that "all initiatives and processes must include all sections of the Afghan society, including the legitimately elected government." The peace efforts should respect the constitutional legacy and political mandate and "should not lead to any ungoverned spaces where terrorists and their proxies can relocate", he said.
India has always supported a peace and reconciliation process "which is Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled". "This has been communicated to all our partners and we are quite confident that our points of view will be part of any peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan," he added. Representatives of China, Russia and the US held their third consultation on the Afghan peace process in Beijing on July 10-11 after which they asked Pakistan to join for a surprise quadrilateral meeting.