India, US Hold Talks on Afghanistan

Published November 30th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

India and the United States held discussions Thursday on Afghanistan and called for the formation of a broad-based government to replace the Taliban regime in Kabul. 

US Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth met Indian Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh and held talks on several bilateral and international issues including the Afghan situation, foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal told reporters. 

"Both sides exchanged views on Afghanistan and there was a similarity of view that there was no military solution to the Afghan situation," Jassal said. 

"Both supported a political solution for a broad-based government (in Kabul) where all ethnic groups will be represented." 

India in recent months has moved to take a role in an international effort against the fundamental Taliban militia, which controls most of Afghanistan. 

On Wednesday, UN special envoy to Afghanistan Francese Vendrell held talks with senior Indian officials including foreign secretary Mansingh. 

Vendrell -- on his second visit to India this year -- was also scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh. 

India does not recognize the Taliban regime in Kabul and supports the deposed government of ousted Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani. 

New Delhi was excluded from a group set up by the United Nations to discuss Afghan issues in 1997. 

India and Russia earlier this month held wide-ranging talks on Afghanistan, focusing on the Taliban's alleged support to Muslim rebels in Kashmir and Chechnya. 

Afghanistan has been ravaged by conflict since 1979. The current phase of fighting dates from 1996, when the Taliban ousted Rabbani. 

India is home to more than 80,000 Afghan refugees – NEW DELHI (AFP) 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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