South Block satisfied as Reginal NSAs easily arrived at consensus on Afghanistan
New Delhi, Nov 10: The Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan attended by top security officials of Russia, Iran and five Central Asian countries exceeded India's expectations, official sources said on Wednesday.
The in-person dialogue, chaired by NSA Ajit Doval, was attended by his counterparts from Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The sources said there was an "extraordinary degree of convergence" on the assessments of the situation in Afghanistan and the principal challenges in that country and the region.
"These included the security situation, heightened risk of terrorism and the impending humanitarian crisis," said a source. "The NSAs noted the need to provide humanitarian assistance and emphasised that the land and air routes should be made available and no one should impede the process," the source said.
According to the sources said the officials also stressed that no one should boycott the dialogue process due to bilateral agendas. India invited China and Pakistan too but both the countries decided not to attend it.
China communicated to India that it would be unable to attend the dialogue because of scheduling issues. At the dialogue, the participating countries vowed to work towards ensuring that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for global terrorism and called for the formation of an "open and truly inclusive" government in Kabul.
A declaration released at the end of the dialogue said Afghan territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts and that officials lent strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan.
The sources said the NSAs easily arrived at a complete consensus, which enabled us to issue the joint Delhi Declaration. "Every delegation was appreciative of the timing of the event and the opportunity to engage in frank and open discussions. Every country got the opportunity to put across their views in a forthright manner," the source said.
"This is the only dialogue at the level of NSAs and there was complete unanimity on the need to continue this process and have regular consultations," the source said. The NSAs appreciated the "timely and efficient" organisation of the dialogue by India and reiterated the need to continue regular consultations among regional countries in this format, the sources said.
After the dialogue, the security officials made a joint call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The sources said the officials had a very substantive exchange during their call on the prime minister. They said Modi shared India's perspective on Afghanistan, adding the officials conveyed greetings from their leaders and also appreciated India's initiative of hosting the dialogue.