First Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs Of Russia To Continue Talks In New Delhi On Postconflict Settlement

First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Vyacheslav Trubnikov in his capacity of co-chairman of the joint working group on Afghanistan is to continue on Friday his talks with the Indian leadership on a postconflict settlement. As the RIA Novosti correspondent reports, his meetings with Minister of External Affairs Jasvant Singh, Minister of Home Affairs Lal Krishna and the government's national security adviser Brajesh Mishra are planned. As Vyacheslav Trubnikov told RIA Novosti after the Thursday talks with First Deputy Minister of External Affairs of India Chokila Iyer, the sides' stands fully coincide in that the Taliban as a political force should not be represented in the new government of Afghanistan. Russia and India also hold the view that the postconflict settlement must proceed under the UN aegis. Trubnikov noted that already now it is necessary to think of Afghanistan's future. "The military phase will end sooner or later, and it is necessary to seat all the interested sides, minor nationalities and religious groups at the negotiating table", he said. "It is the main thing in which we must help Afghanistan". As Trubnikov said, "it is impossible to conceive of a decision behind the Afghan people's back". "It is an important conclusion which we arrived at in the course of our conversations", Trubnikov noted. Chokila Iyer recalled that this is already the second meeting of the joint working group on Afghanistan. The first was held in Moscow last June. She stressed the importance of the exchange of opinion on the questions of Afghanistan's future. The joint Russian-Indian working group on Afghanistan was set up in October 2000 during the visit of president of Russia Vladimir Putin to India.

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