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Indian delegation meets senior Taliban leaders in Kabul, discusses bilateral trade and humanitarian assistance

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 3rd June, 2022 11:29:18 PM
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Kabul: An Indian delegation led by MEA Joint Secretary JP Singh met senior members of the Taliban in Afghanistan's Kabul on Thursday.

It is the first visit by an Indian team since the Taliban’s capture of power in Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of India’s humanitarian assistance to the country.

During the day, the team members also visited Indian projects including the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH) in Kabul. The IGICH, set up with Indian assistance in the ‘70s, is the main hospital in Afghanistan that caters to the well-being of children.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a statement, saying the India team will meet Taliban leadership and representatives of the International Organisations involved in the distribution of humanitarian assistance.

“A team led by the Joint Secretary (PAI), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), is currently on a visit to Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi while addressing a media briefing.

The team will try to visit various places in Afghanistan where India-assisted projects and programmes are being implemented, he said.

A Taliban spokesperson took to Twitter and said that the Indian team met with leaders of the Islamic group and discussed bilateral trade and humanitarian assistance.

“Today, IEA Acting Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi received Indian MEA Joint Secretary JP Singh and accompanying delegation. The meeting focused on India-Afghan diplomatic relations, bilateral trade and humanitarian aid,” Taliban spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said on Twitter.

In a series of tweets, the spokesperson said that “Minister Muttaqi welcomed the first Indian delegation to Kabul on behalf of the Indian government and MEA, calling it a good beginning in ties between the two countries. He also expressed gratitude for the recent Indian humanitarian and medical assistance to AFG, stressing the resumption of projects by India, their diplomatic presence in Afghanistan and the provision of consular services to Afghans, particularly to Afghan students and patients.”

“The Indian delegation said they sought positive relations with Afghanistan as in the past and that they would continue their assistance,” he added.