External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held talks with Anwar Gargash, diplomatic advisor to the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The talks focused on regional concerns of mutual interest. Both leaders are believed to have discussed the overall situation in the Gulf region as well as the Afghanistan crisis.
Jaishankar tweeted, "Happy to welcome Diplomatic Advisor to President of UAE, Dr. @AnwarGargash. Noted the steady progress of our relationship." The visit of a senior UAE diplomat to India comes at a time when Afghanistan has been facing crises after the Taliban took over Kabul. The Taliban captured Kabul on 15 August and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country a few hours later.
On Saturday, senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said that the organisation wants to maintain Afghanistan's trade, economic and political relations with India while describing it as an important country in the region. He further said, "We attach great importance to our trade, economic and political relations with India. We want to maintain that relation."
India has been an important stakeholder in Afghanistan. The country has invested nearly USD 3 billion in carrying out nearly 500 projects across that country. Earlier in December 2020, Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane visited the UAE. It was the first-ever visit by a head of the Indian Army to the influential Gulf nation. Then, in July, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria travelled to the UAE, in reflection of India's growing strategic ties with the country. Earlier this month, the navies of the two countries carried out an exercise off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
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