NEW DELHI: India and its traditional ally Russia have agreed to step up coordination amid unfolding situation in Afghanistan following US and NATO troops pullout.
The Afghan situation was discussed threadbare when Deputy NSA Pankaj Saran visited Moscow this week to meet Russian NSA Nikolay Patrushev & Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.
On what was a quiet visit there were “excellent discussions on evolving situation and considerable common ground and interests especially given exit of US and NATO,” diplomatic sources told ET.
The two sides agreed to step up coordination on the Afghan theatre, according to diplomatic sources. “Visit of Dy NSA Amb. Pankaj Saran to Moscow: meeting with Secretary of Russian National Security Council H.E. Mr. Nikolai Patrushev & Dy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Mr. Alexander Venediktov; discussions covered regional & international issues incl. #Afghanistan” according to an Indian Embassy tweet.
Indian envoy to Moscow B Ventakesh Varma and officials of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) were part of the meeting.
Patrushev, who shares a close rapport with his Indian counterpart, AK Doval, told Izvestia daily of Russia this week that the situation in Afghanistan must be settled through dialogue.
“We will focus on the political and diplomatic efforts regarding Afghanistan and will be looking for ways of establishing an inter-Afghani dialogue and a peaceful resolution of the existing problems in the country jointly with our partners,” he said, adding, “We have reinvigorated contacts at the level of security councils, military and special services with the countries located near Afghanistan, first of all, with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as with China, Iran, India and Pakistan.”
It may be recalled that India and Russia along with Iran backed the Northern Alliance against Taliban between 1996-2001.