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India to attend signing of landmark peace deal between US and Taliban in Doha on Saturday

India's Ambassador to Qatar will attend the signing of the landmark peace deal between the US and the Afghan Taliban in Doha on Saturday, official sources said on Thursday.

PTI|
Last Updated: Feb 27, 2020, 11.17 PM IST
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India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

NEW DELHI: India's Ambassador to Qatar will attend the signing of the landmark peace deal between the US and the Afghan Taliban in Doha on Saturday, official sources said on Thursday.

The deal would allow for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001.

Sources said India has been invited by the Qatar government for the ceremony where the deal will be signed and Indian ambassador P Kumaran will attend it.

It will be for the first time India will officially attend an event involving the Taliban.

India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

In a significant move, India had sent two former diplomats in "non-official" capacity to a conference on Afghan peace process in Moscow in November 2018.

The conference organised by Russia was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation, representatives of Afghanistan as well as from several other countries, including the US, Pakistan and China.

Major powers such as the US, Russia and Iran have been reaching out to the Taliban as part of efforts to push the stalled Afghan peace process.

India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan controlled.

India has also been maintaining that care should be taken to ensure that any such process does not lead to any "ungoverned spaces" where terrorists and their proxies can relocate.

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