Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s peace council, has arrived in New Delhi on October 6 to muster regional support for the Afghan peace process. Dr Abdullah is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during his official visit to India. He will also deliver a keynote speech at the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi. 

Arrived in #NewDelhi #India to begin my official visit. During my stay in #NewDelhi I will meet the leadership of #Indai, & exchange views on #AfghanPeaceProcess, & bilateral relations. pic.twitter.com/Lzkc4XBwKd

— Dr. Abdullah Abdullah (@DrabdullahCE) October 6, 2020

Before leaving for New Delhi, Dr Abdullah said that India is a strategic partner of Afghanistan and has continuously supported its government and people. He stressed that Afghanistan’s historical relations with India is very important to the country and the role of India in establishing “lasting peace’ in the region is vital. 

The visit holds significance because the attempt of the Afghan government and the Taliban to achieve a peace deal ended in a stalemate. Dr Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, will exchange views with India’s top leadership on the Afghan peace process, peace talks in Doha, regional support and overall bilateral relations between the two countries.

Intra-Afghan Negotiations

The intra-Afghan negotiations kicked off in Doha under the chairmanship of the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the opening ceremony, Abdullah thanked the Taliban for showing “willingness to negotiate” to end 19 years of war. The spotlight from the peace talks has faded after the lavish opening ceremony on September 12 as the Afghan government and the Taliban continue to disagree on even basic issues.

On September 15, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held extensive talks about the Afghan peace process with the special envoy in the presence of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Khalilzad stated that the US greatly appreciates India's contributions to the Afghan peace process and shared the American perspective on the ongoing peace talks.