Modi discusses Afghan
situation with Charles Michel

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke on the telephone with President of the European Council Charles Michel about the evolving situation in Afghanistan and reiterated India’s commitment to further strengthening India-EU relations.
“Spoke with @eucopresident Charles Michel, President of the European Council, about the evolving situation in Afghanistan. Also reiterated our commitment to further strengthening India-EU relations,” Modi wrote on Twitter. “The leaders discussed the recent developments in Afghanistan and the implications for the region and the world. They unequivocally condemned the horrific terror attack at the Kabul International Airport that resulted in many casualties. They emphasized the importance of a stable and secure Afghanistan and discussed the potential role India and the EU could play in this context,” an official statement read.
The two leaders agreed to remain in touch on bilateral and global issues, in particular, the situation in Afghanistan, it said.
PM Modi has established a high-level group comprising of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, which is updating him on the Afghan situation and are taking required steps to focus on immediate priorities including evacuation of stranded Indians.
As the United States completes its military mission in Afghanistan and the Taliban takes over complete control, India said it is closely monitoring the evolving situation.
Meanwhile, India held a meeting with a Taliban leader in Doha on latter’s request. Ambassador of India to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the Head of Taliban’s Political Office. The meeting took place at the Embassy of India, Doha.
The discussions focused on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan. The travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wish to visit to India also came up, a statement by the external affairs ministry read.
Ambassador Mittal raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner. The Taliban representative assured the Ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed. (ANI)

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the European Council Charles Michel

During their telephonic conversation, the two leaders emphasized the importance of a stable and secure Afghanistan and discussed the potential role India and the EU could play in this context, the Prime Minister’s Office here said in a statement.

Modi and Michel unequivocally condemned the horrific terror attack at the Kabul airport that resulted in many casualties, it said.

Last week, Prime Minister Modi had spoken with his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi and the two leaders stressed the need for international cooperation, including at the level of the G20, in addressing the security and humanitarian challenges arising out of the spiralling crisis in Afghanistan.

A file picture of meeting between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the European Council Charles Michel

The US on Tuesday completed the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, ending a two-decade war and leaving the country in the hands of the Taliban.

The Taliban took control of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Tuesday after the last US aircraft took off in the morning, marking an end to the 20-year presence of the US in Afghanistan.