Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday left Kabul for Russia and India.
During visit to Russia, Abdullah will attend the 16th meeting of the council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the black resort town of Sochi.
He will deliver a speech on regional cooperation, trade, counter-terrorism and peace, according to a statement from Abdullah’s office.
Abdullah, who leads a high-level government delegation, will also meet with prime ministers of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, secretary-general of SCO, and representatives from Iran, Belarus, Turkey, Azerbaijan and U.N. representative.
Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her US counterpart James Mattis on Tuesday in New Delhi and discussed the issue of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan.
According to the Times of India, both parties agreed that such sanctuaries should not be tolerated.
Sitharaman also said she made India’s stance on Afghanistan clear to Mattis, by emphasising it won’t contribute troops but will continue developmental assistance.
“I borrowed the defense secretary’s own (earlier) words when I explained to him that the very same forces that find safe haven in Pakistan have been the ones who’ve affected New York as well as other places,” said Sitharaman, after meeting with Mattis.
The Indian and Afghan officials have agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in the field of security and defense apart from New Delhi’s major contribution socio and economic development contribution to Afghanistan amounting to more than $2 billion since the fall of the Taliban regime.
The Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj informed regarding New Delhi’s new commitments during a press conference with her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi on Monday
Swaraj further added that 116 new “high impact” development projects would be implemented jointly in 31 provinces of Afghanistan.
“We remain united in overcoming the challenges posed by cross-border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries to both our countries,” she added.
The US President Donald Trump early on Tuesday morning announced his administration’s new strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia.
After paying tribute to the US forces in Afghanistan, Trump said “I am here tonight to lay out our path forward in Afghanistan and South Asia.”
He was expected to talk about number of US troops which will be deployed to Afghanistan based on the new strategy. However, he did not mention this matter in his speech.
“We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities,” he said. “America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out. I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.”
He said the US victory in Afghanistan will have a definition.
The former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai in a special Interview with ArianaNews said US wants to use Afghanistan as substrate to shift terrorism into Russia.
He said, “US wants to expand terrorism into Russia by using Afghanistan as substrate.”
Further he went on and demanded the Afghan government to change its foreign relations with the countries that means US should accept its failure in Afghanistan and leave the country; Afghan government should choose Russia, China, India and Iran as allies for ending war in Afghanistan.
“National Unity Government (NUG) should hold clear stance against USA and have United States government to fulfill its commitments specially the exceed of Pakistan, help Afghanistan with reality, or else United States of America should sit aside, and leave us alone so that we could stabilize Afghanistan with the regional countries, Russia, China cooperation.” Former President Hamid Karzai said.