India has made many important contributions to Afghanistan's development: US
The US on Tuesday said its Special Representative for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad has recognised the many important contributions India has made to Afghanistan's development in his talks with top Indian government officials during his two-day visit here.
AVA- Khalilzad held consultations with Indian government officials and other stakeholders on the Afghan peace process during his May 6-7 visit here, the US Embassy said.
Ambassador Khalilzad met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, and India's ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar, among others.
"During his meetings, Ambassador Khalilzad welcomed expressions of support for the Afghan peace process, which strengthens an emerging international consensus for peace efforts. He also recognized the many important contributions India has made to Afghanistan's development," the embassy said in a statement.
It said Khalilzad and his counterparts discussed the many important benefits that peace would bring, which include preventing international terrorists use of Afghanistan as a platform for attacks, improving prospects for regional peace and security and increasing regional connectivity and trade.
"Ambassador Khalilzad and his counterparts also discussed that Afghanistan's political future is for Afghans to decide through an inclusive and legitimate process," the embassy said.
"They also agreed that Afghan gains of the last 18 years must be preserved and built upon. Ambassador Khalilzad will continue to consult with Indian counterparts as the peace process moves forward," it added.
Khalilzad has been holding talks with the Taliban in Qatari capital Doha to hammer out a deal to bring lasting peace and stability to war-ravaged Afghanistan.
Last week, the US officials held their sixth round of talks with the Taliban to end the over 17-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.
In March, India conveyed to the US that it should not withdraw its troops from Afghanistan without putting in place an elected "political structure" to govern the country.
Major powers such as the US, Russia and Iran have been reaching out to the Taliban as part of efforts to push the stalled Afghan peace process.
India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
In a significant move, India had sent two former diplomats in "non official" capacity to a conference on Afghan peace process in Moscow in November last year which was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation.
The conference organised by Russia was attended by representatives of Afghanistan as well as from several other countries, including the US, Pakistan and China.
India has been maintaining a policy of not engaging with the Taliban and pressing for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace initiative to bring peace and stability in the war-ravaged country.