A high-level meeting between India and Russia on the situation in Afghanistan got underway this week, in the wake of the Taliban takeover and the formation of a new government of the "Islamic Emirate" in the conflict-torn country.
The India-Russia inter-governmental consultations on Afghanistan were led by the two National Security Advisers (NSAs) – Ajit Doval and his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev. The meeting also involves representatives of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Defence and security agencies. It comes as a follow-up meeting of the two countries after talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone last month.
During the exchange of views between the two leaders, both sides had agreed the importance of concerted efforts which would contribute to the establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan and ensure security in the region as a whole.
The India-Russia power meet comes soon after the Taliban announced a new caretaker government on September 7, consisting of hardliners and devoid of any women in the decision-making process. The meeting assumes significance as it will reflect on the latest developments in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of US-led NATO forces.
According to officials, both India and Russia share similar concerns on terrorism, primarily to ensure that the Taliban adhere to their promises and assurances. Both the NSAs will also review activities of terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, threats from drugs, the role of regional countries, as they hammer out further details of India-Russia cooperation on Afghanistan.