AP NEWS

US peace envoy on Afghanistan meets with Indian officials

May 7, 2019

NEW DELHI (AP) — The U.S.peace envoy on Afghanistan on Tuesday met with Indian leaders and discussed peace efforts amid the envoy’s ongoing dialogue with the Taliban, an Indian official said.

India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said that India will work with key partners in coming days.

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad met with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other officials in New Delhi.

The Taliban said over the weekend that the gap is narrowing in talks with Khalilzad over a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Talks between the U.S. and Taliban began last year with the appointment of Khalilzad as the U.S. peace envoy.

The two sides are meeting in Qatar, where the insurgent movement maintains a political office.

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said on Tuesday that Khalilzad discussed with Indian leaders an emerging international consensus for peace efforts.

The embassy in a statement said Khalilzad highlighted benefits that peace would bring to the region — including the prevention of using Afghanistan as a platform for terror attacks, improved prospects for regional peace and security and increased regional trade.

Khalilzad also recognized “the many important contributions India has made to Afghanistan’s development,” the statement said.

India has been training Afghan soldiers and helping war-ravaged Afghanistan build infrastructure.