NSA-level talks: India & Russia discuss violence, ‘ethnic contradictions’ in Afghanistan

New Delhi: India and Russia on Wednesday, September 8, agreed to coordinate the approaches of both the countries in multilateral formats on the Afghan settlement.

Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, held detailed deliberations with NSA Ajit Doval and also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar. 

“The importance of defining parameters of the future state structure of Afghanistan by the Afghans themselves, as well as the need to prevent the escalation of violence, social, ethnic and confessional contradictions in the country, were emphasized,” the Russian government statement said.

Later in the day, the visiting Russian dignitary called on Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar separately.

“Secretary Patrushev briefed the Prime Minister on his fruitful exchanges with NSA (Doval) and EAM (Jaishankar),” an MEA release said.

He expressed Russia’s firm commitment to further deepen its ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ with India.

The interactions also have a special significance, as PM Modi will chair a BRICS Summit on Thursday, September 9, at a virtual session, which would also be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

The Prime Minister expressed his “appreciation” for the visit of the Russian delegation led by Secretary Patrushev when major changes are taking place in the region.

Mr Modi also asked Secretary Patrushev to convey his thanks to President Putin for his “constant attention” towards the India-Russia Partnership. 

He also said that he was looking forward to welcoming President Putin to India in the near future for the bilateral summit.

The Russian government statement also said at the delegation-level talks led by two NSAs that both sides discussed deepening bilateral cooperation in the field of security with an emphasis on further interaction on the “anti-terrorist track, combating illegal migration and drug trafficking.”

All these issues relate to Afghanistan’s development, where the Taliban has taken over after the American forces made the withdrawal, ending their 20-year long association with the Asian nation.  

“Attention was paid to intensifying the joint work of the both country’s special services and military bodies.”

“They also touched upon humanitarian and migration problems in this country, as well as prospects for the Russian-Indian joint efforts aimed at creating conditions for launching a peaceful settlement process on the basis of an intra-Afghan dialogue,” the Russian statement said.

“There are also plans to discuss current issues on the international and regional agenda with an emphasis on developments in Afghanistan,” a Kremlin statement said about the BRICS Summit scheduled for September 9. “The main agreements will be reflected in the final Declaration.” 

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