India-Taliban to meet at Moscow-format meeting

India and Taliban are set to meet face-to-face at the “Moscow Format” meeting which will be hosted by Russia on October 20, 2021.

Key Points

  • India and Taliban meeting is expected to focus on formation of an inclusive government and security situation in Afghanistan.
  • Meeting will be participated by India, Afghanistan, Iran, USA, Pakistan, China and Central Asian states.
  • Participants will also discuss on the issues of consolidating efforts of international community in order to prevent humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
  • This is the first edition of the Moscow Format on Afghanistan ever since Taliban came to power. Though, India holds its first meeting with Taliban on August 31, 2021 in Doha.

Moscow Format Meeting on Afghanistan

  • Moscow Format Meeting on Afghanistan will enable the first formal contact between India and Taliban.
  • From Indian side, the meeting will be led by joint secretary, JP Singh, who is the head of Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran desk in external affairs ministry.
  • The Russian side seeks to hold a sincere conversation with the representatives of new Afghan leadership and convey their objections to the Afghan delegation.
  • Discussions in the meeting will also focus on human rights issues as well as the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
  • Terror threats related to Afghanistan and Fighting drug trafficking will be priority for Russia and other countries.

Background

The Moscow Format was set up in the year 2017 as a six-party mechanism. It involved Russia, India, Afghanistan, Iran, China and Pakistan. The format was later expanded with the inclusion of some more countries. Its meetings were held in Moscow in the year 2017 and 2018.

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