Highlights

India opens up to Taliban, Qatar envoy meets top leader
MEA: meeting at Indian embassy held at Taliban's request
India to Taliban: Afghan soil must not be used for terror

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India's envoy to Qatar meets Taliban's top leader Stanekzai in Doha


India's Ambassador Deepak Mittal raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner.

On Taliban's request, the Ministry of External Affair in a statement on Tuesday said that India's envoy to Qatar met the militant group's Head of Political Office Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in the capital Doha.

This is the first time India has openly engaged with the Taliban and the meeting comes after US withdrew from the region after 20 years of protracted war.

The MEA said, discussions held at the Indian embassy in Doha, focused on safety, security and early return of Indians stranded in Afghanistan and the travel of Afghans, especially minorities, who wish to visit to India.

India's Ambassador Deepak Mittal raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner.

The MEA said Stanekzai, who had trained as a Afghan cadet at the Indian military academy in Dehradun in 1980s, assured Mittal that these issues would be positively addressed.

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