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Russia-India Coordinating Closer Relations with Afghanistan

RT reported that Russian and Indian diplomats consulted in New Delhi on May 17 on “challenges facing” the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, including combatting drug traffic, and providing humanitarian aid. In general, the consultations involving Russia’s special envoy Zamir Kabulov and Indian senior diplomat J.P. Singh were discussions of closer relations with the Taliban government which neither country has recognized as yet. Kabulov told RT that the approaches of Russia and India on Afghanistan “are much closer than previously thought … practically identical.”

As this news service has previously reported, India in January established a diplomatic (consular) presence in Kabul and ended its diplomatic tie to the previous, NATO-supported government. In March, J.P. Singh met with Taliban Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on trade, including action against the drug trade. The Afghan Foreign Minister said at that time that India wants to expand cooperation with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan by enhancing trade through Iran’s Chabahar Port on the Arabian Sea, which India had helped build and has just signed a 10-year agreement to manage.

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