Delhi Declaration calls for peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan

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A joint statement, ‘Delhi Declaration on Afghanistan’ called for a collective cooperation against the menace of radicalization, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region, reports Asian Lite News

Afghanistan and its territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts, the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue, attended by NSAs or Secretaries of the Security Councils from eight countries declared on Wednesday.

A joint statement, ‘Delhi Declaration on Afghanistan’ called for a collective cooperation against the menace of radicalization, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region.

It condemned in the strongest terms all terrorist activities and reaffirmed their firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalization, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism.

The Declaration stressed the necessity of forming an open and truly inclusive government that represents the will of all the people of Afghanistan and has representation from all sections of their society, including major ethno-political forces in the country.

Inclusion of all sections of the society in the administrative and political structure is imperative for the successful national reconciliation process in the country, the Declaration maintained.

It reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while emphasizing the respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs.

The Declaration expressed deep concern over the suffering of the people of Afghanistan, arising from the security situation in the land locked country and condemned the terrorist attacks in Kunduz, Kandahar and Kabul.

Recalling the relevant UN Resolutions on Afghanistan, the participants at the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue noted that the United Nations has a central role to play in Afghanistan and that its continued presence in the country must be preserved.

They emphasized the importance of ensuring that the fundamental rights of women, children and minority communities are not violated.

The participants at the Dialogue expressed concern over the deteriorating socio-economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, and underlined the need to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

They reiterated that humanitarian assistance should be provided in an unimpeded, direct and assured manner to Afghanistan and that the assistance is distributed within the country in a non-discriminatory manner across all sections of the Afghan society.

They reiterated commitment to provide assistance to Afghanistan to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Also, they reiterated the importance of their dialogue and agreed to remain engaged with each other in the future.

The Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan was attended by National Security Advisers / Secretaries of the National Security Councils of India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

PM talks tough on terror

Countries in the region need to adopt a zero-tolerance stance about Afghan territory being used by terrorist groups, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday.

He also stressed on three other aspects: the need for an inclusive government, a strategy to counter trafficking of drugs and arms from Afghanistan, and addressing the increasingly critical humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Modi’s remarks came when the heads of the National Security Councils of seven nations, who attended the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, collectively called on him.

The Dialogue was hosted in Delhi by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

In their comments to the Prime Minister, the senior security officers, representing the nations of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, expressed their appreciation of India’s initiative in organising the Dialogue and of the quality of the exchanges.

They also conveyed the perspectives of their respective countries on the Afghan situation, said an official release issued after the meeting.

Prime Minister Modi appreciated the participation of the senior dignitaries in the Delhi Security Dialogue despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Modi also expressed the hope that the Regional Security Dialogue would work to revive Central Asia’s traditions of moderation and progressive culture, and counter extremist tendencies.

India keenly watching Afghanistan

NSA Ajit Doval on Wednesday said India is keenly watching developments in Afghanistan, while calling for close consultations, greater cooperation, interaction and coordination among the regional countries.

“We are meeting today to discuss matters related to Afghanistan. We all have been keenly watching the developments in that country. These have important implications not only for the people of Afghanistan, but also for its neighbours and the region,” NSA Doval said in his opening remarks at the first ever India hosted Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan.

The Security Dialogue is attended by NSAs or Secretaries of the Security Councils from Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The participants at the Dialogue will deliberate upon measures to be taken to address the relevant security challenges and support the people of Afghanistan in promoting peace, security and stability in the landlocked nation.

NSA Doval said recent developments in Afghanistan have implications not only for the people of Afghanistan, but also for its neighbours and the region.

He informed that this is the third meeting of the process that was initiated by Iran in 2018.

“We had the second meeting there as well. We are grateful to Iran for that. It’s a privilege for India to host the dialogue today with participation of all the Central Asian countries and Russia who was the initiator of the idea,” Doval stated.

The NSA hoped that the deliberations will be productive at the Dialogue.

“I’m confident that our deliberations will be productive, useful and will contribute to help the people of Afghanistan and enhance our collective security,” he observed.

The first two editions of the Dialogue were hosted by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2018 and 2019. Pakistan and Iran are not attending the Dialogue, which is the first of its kind conclave that focuses on security-related issues and is distinct from foreign ministry-led talks. This is also the highest number of countries taking part in this format.

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