In our better interest, says Taliban on India-led regional meet on Afghanistan | Latest News India

The Taliban regime in Kabul on Wednesday said the first regional meeting on Afghanistan convened by India was in its “better interest” and reiterated its stated policy that “its land will not be used against any country”.

In an audio statement released hours after the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan chaired by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval wrapped up its deliberations, the Taliban regime’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said: “Though we are not present in this conference, we firmly believe that this conference is in the better interest of Afghanistan as the entire region is considerate of the current Afghan situation and the participating countries also must be thoughtful of improving and safeguarding the security situation in Afghanistan and helping the current government to ensure security in the country on its own”.

The meeting, chaired by the Indian NSA, was attended by Iran’s supreme national security council secretary, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Russia’s security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and the security council heads of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The security officials also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the dialogue.

Wednesday’s meeting is the first regional meeting on Afghanistan convened by India after August 15 when the Taliban took control of the country.

A participant in Wednesday’s deliberations stressed that the regional meeting brought out a lot of convergence in views apart from the “excellent optics and dynamics”. “I think a highly successful conference,” the official said.

The Taliban statement that followed also reiterated that it has been looking to deepen mutual cooperation with countries in the region. “We do not have any objection or anxiety with the conference being held in India and we are hopeful that positive outcomes of this conference will be utilized and implemented,” Mujahid said.

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NSA Ajit Doval later also held meetings with his counterparts from Iran, Kazakhstan and Russia after Wednesday’s meeting to discuss the situation in bilateral security cooperation.

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