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QUESTION No. 2922 US-TALIBAN AGREEMENT ON WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS

March 19, 2020

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 2922
TO BE ANSWERED ON 19.03.2020

US-TALIBAN AGREEMENT ON WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS

2922. DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY:
SHRI VAIKO:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether the US and Taliban signed an agreement for the full withdrawal of foreign soldiers from Afghanistan;

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) whether Government has studied any impact of the agreement and its repercussions on India and India-Afghanistan relations;

(d) if so, the details thereof;

(e) the vigilance and security measures contemplated in the post-Taliban Afghanistan; and

(f) the diplomatic efforts made by India to have strong, cordial and sustainable relations with Afghanistan?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) & (b) As per the Joint Declaration between the US and Afghanistan in Kabul and the agreement signed by the US in Doha on 29 February 2020, the strength of the US forces will be reduced to 8,600 in 135 days and all foreign forces will be withdrawn in 14 months from the date of the signing of the Agreement. This is subject to fulfillment of the conditionalities mentioned in the agreement.

A wide cross section of the people in Afghanistan, including the Government, the democratic polity and civil society, has welcomed the opportunity and hope for peace and stability generated by the Agreement.

(c) to (f) India's consistent policy is to support all opportunities that can bring peace, security and stability in Afghanistan; end violence; cut ties with international terrorism; preserve the gains of the last 19 years; and lead to a lasting political settlement through an inclusive Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled process.

India believes that ending terror sanctuaries and safe heavens operating across Durand line is necessary for enduring peace in Afghanistan.

As a contiguous neighbour, India continues to extend all support to the Government and people of Afghanistan in realising their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future where the interest of all sections of Afghan society are protected.

During the recent visit of the Foreign Secretary to Kabul on 28-29 February 2020, the leadership of Afghanistan deeply appreciated India’s support for peace, development and prosperity of Afghanistan, including the efforts for regional connectivity such as the operationalisation of Chabahar Port and establishment of Air Freight Corridors between various cities of India and Afghanistan. It was agreed to work together for implementation of the New Development Partnership and further expand cooperation in accordance with the Strategic Partnership Agreement.

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