India announces first formal meeting with Taliban
India’s ambassador to Qatar held talks with a top Taliban leader on Tuesday, the Indian foreign ministry said, the first formal diplomatic engagement since the Taliban took over Afghanistan.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_The envoy, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban’s Political Office in Doha, at the request of the Taliban, the foreign ministry said.
The foreign ministry said the two sides discussed the safety of Indians left behind in Afghanistan, Reuters reported.
Mittal also conveyed India’s fears that anti-India militants could use Afghanistan’s soil to mount attacks, the foreign ministry said.
“The Taliban representative assured the ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed,” the foreign ministry said.
The talks come days after Stanekzai was quoted in the local press as saying that the Taliban wanted political and economic ties with India.
There was no immediate comment from the Taliban on the talks with the Indians, Reuters reported.
“Ambassador Mittal raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for -Indian_activities and terrorism in any manner,” the foreign ministry said.