Top Russian security official visiting India to discuss Afghan crisis


NSA Ajit Doval with Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Gen Nikolay Patrushev
NSA Ajit Doval with Russian official Gen Nikolay Patrushev | File photo: ANI

New Delhi: Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Gen Nikolay Patrushev began a two-day visit to India on Tuesday to hold extensive talks with NSA Ajit Doval on the situation in Afghanistan following its takeover by the Taliban.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Patrushev is expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had on August 24 discussed the developments in Afghanistan and expressed the view that it was important for the two countries to work together.

The MEA said Patrushev is visiting India at the invitation of NSA Doval for high-level India-Russia inter-governmental consultations on Afghanistan.

"The consultations are a follow-up to the telephone conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on August 24," the MEA said.

"The two leaders had expressed the view that it was important for the two strategic partners to work together and instructed their senior officials to remain in touch on Afghanistan," it said.

After the Modi-Putin conversation, Russia 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.

On Monday, Russian envoy Nikolay Kudashev said that there is "ample scope" for cooperation between India and Russia on Afghanistan and both sides have been in regular touch with each other on the latest developments in the war-torn country.

He also said that Russia is as concerned as India that the Afghan soil should not be a source of spreading terrorism to other countries and there is a "danger" of terror being spread to the Russian territory as well as Kashmir.

The Russian ambassador also said that there is not much difference in the overall position of Russia and India on Afghanista and noted that Moscow''s approach in according recognition to a Taliban regime would depend on its actions.

Russia has been a key player in pushing for the Afghan peace process before the Taliban captured power in Kabul.

PTI

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