With focus on Afghanistan, NSA Ajit Doval holds bilateral talks with Tajik and Uzbek counterparts

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Image source: PTI

NSA Ajit Doval with his Uzbek counterpart Viktor Makhmudov and other dignitaries during a meeting in New Delhi.

Ahead of a regional security dialogue on Afghanistan, the NSA, Ajit Doval and his Uzbek counterpart, Viktor Makhmudov, said on Tuesday that the new Afghan regime must first gain legitimacy in the country before seeking international recognition, official sources said.

Doval held separate bilateral talks with Makhmudov and Rakhmatjon Mahmudzoda, Secretary of the Tajik Security Council, focusing on developments in Afghanistan, including the looming humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country and the possible threat of terrorism from Afghan soil.

Makhmudov and Mahmudzoda are in Delhi to participate in the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, which will be chaired by Doval on Wednesday.

India is engaged in dialogue to strengthen a common approach to practical cooperation to counter the growing threats of terrorism, radicalization and drug trafficking following the Taliban takeover of Kabul.

In addition to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the top security kings of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan are also participating in the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan.

China was invited to the dialogue, but it has already announced that it will not be able to take part in it due to problems with the schedule, and Pakistan also decided to skip it.

Sources said that during bilateral negotiations, Doval and Mahmudzoda exchanged views in detail on Afghanistan with a significant convergence of assessments.

According to them, concern was expressed about the sharp increase in terrorist threats from Afghanistan in the recent past and that the Tajik side stressed the seriousness of the situation in Afghanistan.

The talks featured an impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“On a bilateral level, issues of deepening cooperation in such areas as defense, border management and development of border infrastructure were discussed,” the source said.

Regarding Doval’s talks with his Uzbek counterpart, sources said Afghanistan was the focus of the discussions, and both sides agreed that the future of the country should be decided by the Afghan people.

“They believed that the legitimacy of any Afghan government in Afghanistan was important before the issue of its international recognition,” the source said.

“Both sides stressed the need for the neighbors of Afghanistan to ensure unhindered access of humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan,” the statement said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs S. Jayshankar also met with Makhmudov.

“I am glad to receive the Secretary of the Security Council of Uzbekistan Viktor Makhmudov. He highly appreciated the exchange of views on Afghanistan. He noted the progress in our bilateral relations, ”Jaishankar tweeted.

Regarding the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue, sources previously stated that all participating countries have a “very high degree of convergence” on the security implications of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, and discussions will focus on practical cooperation to tackle the problem.

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