India Holds First Formal Talks with Taliban

India held its first formal talks with Taliban in Qatar since the militant group took over Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of United States troops.

India’s Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met with Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of Taliban’s political office, in Doha on Aug. 31 at the request of the militant group, India’s foreign ministry announced in a statement.

According to the foreign ministry, Mittal and Stanekzai focused their discussions on “safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan” and the travel of Afghan nations, especially minorities, who wish to visit India.

Mittal also expressed concerns that the Afghan territory should not be used for anti-Indian attacks, the foreign ministry said.

Stanekzai assured Mittal that the issues “would be positively addressed,” the foreign ministry said.

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