‘Looking at it positively’: EAM Jaishankar on India’s participation in Afghan meeting to be hosted by UN

United Nations: India is looking “positively” at participating in the meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan to be hosted by the UN chief Antonio Guterres in Doha next month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said.

UN Secretary-General Guterres will be hosting the meeting in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on May 1 and 2.

“We’re looking at it. We’re looking at it positively, but I guess we’ll take a call closer to the time but we are looking at it,” Jaishankar said here on Thursday in response to a question on whether India will be participating in the meeting.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said the purpose of the small group meeting is to reinvigorate international engagement around the common objectives for a durable way forward on the situation in Afghanistan.

“The Secretary-General has said and continues to believe that it’s an urgent priority to advance an approach based on pragmatism and principles, combined with strategic patience, and to identify parameters for creative, flexible, principled, and constructive engagement.

“It is his aim that the discussions, which will be held behind closed doors, can contribute to a more unified consensus regarding the challenges ahead,” Dujarric said.

The Afghan Taliban returned to power in Kabul in 2021 after two decades of fighting with the US and allied forces.

Afghanistan was pushed into economic collapse when the Taliban took over the war-torn country, and foreign funds that were being given to the previous regime were frozen.