India, Australia hold 2+2 dialogue
‘Afghan territory must not be used for terrorism in any manner’
New Delhi: India and Australia on Saturday asserted that Afghanistan must not allow its soil to be used in any manner for terrorism and it should never again become a safe haven for "breeding and training" of terrorists, as the two countries held a detailed discussion on the situation in the war-torn country after its takeover by the Taliban.
At the inaugural India-Australia two-plus-two dialogue, the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries also vowed to work towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, a region that has been witnessing increasing Chinese assertiveness. With the dialogue coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks that led to the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, both sides strongly called for combating terrorism without any compromise.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held extensive in-person talks with their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton. Noting that Afghanistan was a "major subject of discussion", Jaishankar said,"we had a very detailed exchange of views and our approach is very similar in a way it is summed up by the UN Security Council Resolution 2593 which emphasises most of all that Afghanistan must not allow its soil to be used in any manner by anybody for terrorism." Addressing a joint media briefing along with other ministers, the external affairs minister said there were also concerns relating to the composition of the interim Taliban cabinet as well as about the treatment of women and minorities. "But apart from that (terrorism), there were issues of concerns about the inclusiveness of the dispensation, concerns about the treatment of women and minorities, matters related to travel of Afghans, issues relating to humanitarian assistance. It is an evolving situation and it was a good exchange of notes," he said.