New Delhi: The US and the Taliban are set to sign a peace deal at a ceremony in Doha on Saturday which will allow the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan nearly 18 years after their deployment in the country. The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001. Also Read - Trump India Visit Day 2: 'Everybody Happy About US-Taliban Peace Deal,' Says President Trump at Press Briefing
The historic signing ceremony will witness the participation of representatives from at least 30 countries including India. The country will be represented by P Kumaran, India’s Ambassador to Qatar. It will be for the first time India will officially attend an event involving the Taliban. Also Read - Will Cut Ties With Israel, US Over Peace Deal: Palestinian President
Earlier on Friday, foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had traveled to Kabul and conveyed India’s unstinted support to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. He had called on Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Vice President-elect Amrullah Saleh, National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib and acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Haroon Chakhansuri and apprised them about India”s strong commitment for all-round development of Afghanistan. Also Read - NATO Forces Will Remain in Afghanistan After Peace Deal: Envoy
In a series of tweets, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had yesterday said India stands with Afghanistan for strengthening national unity, territorial integrity, democracy, plurality and prosperity in the country and bringing an end to externally sponsored terrorism.
Notably, India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Besides India, Pakistan has also been invited to the ceremony by the Qatar government. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will represent Islamabad at the event. “The world is appreciating Pakistan’s role in bringing peace to Afghanistan. The invitation is a great honour and an acknowledgment of our efforts,” Qureshi had said.
The US-Taliban peace talks have been going on since December 2018 after Qatar called for a roadmap for Afghan peace. In September last year, US President Donald Trump had called off peace negotiations with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders after the insurgent group admitted its role behind an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 other people.