Modi speaks to Putin, discusses Afghanistan situation in detail

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The Russian embassy said both sides noted the importance of coordinated efforts to “establish peace and stability” in Afghanistan and to ensure security in the region as a whole….reports Asian Lite News

Amid mounting global concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday discussed the unfolding of events there and its implications for the region and the world.

The leaders expressed the view that it was important for the two strategic partners to work together and instructed their senior officials to remain in touch, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

After the conversation, the Russian embassy in India said the two leaders expressed the intention to enhance cooperation to counter the dissemination of “terrorist ideology” and the drug threat emanating from Afghanistan and agreed to form a permanent bilateral channel for consultations on the issue.

In a tweet, PM Modi said, “Had a detailed and useful exchange of views with my friend President Putin on recent developments in Afghanistan. We also discussed issues on the bilateral agenda, including India-Russia cooperation against COVID-19. We agreed to continue close consultations on important issues.”

The Russian embassy said both sides noted the importance of coordinated efforts to “establish peace and stability” in Afghanistan and to ensure security in the region as a whole.

“They expressed intention to enhance cooperation on countering the dissemination of the terrorist ideology and the drug threat emanating from the territory of Afghanistan,” the embassy said.

“It was agreed to form a permanent bilateral channel for consultations on this issue,” it added.

It said several issues pertaining to the further development of the Russia-India special and privileged strategic partnership, including in trade and economy, were also touched upon.

“(PM) Narendra Modi expressed gratitude to Vladimir Putin for assistance in combating the spread of the Covid-19 infection, including supply and production of the Russian vaccine in India, as well as shipment of the necessary medicines and medical equipment,” the embassy said.

According to the PMO, both leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress in the partnership between their countries despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

They appreciated the ongoing bilateral cooperation in the fight against the pandemic, especially in the supply and production of “Sputnik V” vaccine, it added.

They also touched upon the forthcoming multilateral engagements, including the BRICS Summit, the meeting of the Council of SCO Heads of State, and India’s participation in the Eastern Economic Forum.

According to the PMO, PM Modi said he looked forward to Putin’s visit to India for the next bilateral summit.

The two leaders agreed to remain in touch on bilateral and global issues, in particular, the situation in Afghanistan, it said.

On Monday, PM Modi had spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the Afghanistan situation and its implications on the region and the world. Both leaders had emphasised the importance of maintaining peace and security.

The phone call comes at a time when several countries including India are evacuating their citizens from the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Moscow has praised the Taliban for restoring order following its takeover of the country.

According to the statement, the two leaders also exchanged views on issues of multilateral interest such as the forthcoming COP-26 meeting and the Indian initiative to promote a dialogue on maritime security at the United Nations Security Council.

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