India participated in the fourth Meeting of the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan, which was held in Moscow on November 16. Special envoys and senior officials from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan also participated in the meeting.
What Has Been Said:
“During the meeting, the participants discussed issues related to Afghanistan, including the current humanitarian situation and the ongoing efforts of various stakeholders to provide assistance, intra-Afghan talks, formation of an inclusive and representative government, efforts to counter threats of terrorism and ensuring regional security,” Ministry of External Affairs said.
About Moscow Format:
- It was introduced in 2017 on the basis of the six-party mechanism for consultations among special representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.
- The Moscow format meeting’s main objective is to facilitate the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan and secure peace in that country as soon as possible.
India’s Earlier Engagements:
Indian delegation and Taliban officials had come face-to-face for the first time at the Moscow Format meeting in Russia in 2021. JP Singh, the joint secretary who heads the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran desk in the external affairs ministry, had led the Indian delegation at the Moscow Format.
In a significant departure from India’s stand on engaging the Taliban, the government for the first time participated at a “non-official” level, sending two former senior diplomats to attend talks on the Afghanistan peace process which was held and hosted by Russia.