South Asia

US CIA Chief, Russian NSA in Delhi for talks on Afghanistan crisis amid Taliban’s new govt formation

CIA Chief William Burns who was in New Delhi held a meeting with NSA Ajit Doval on Tuesday and Russia's NSA will hold a meeting with PM Modi on the Afghanistan crisis today.

With the Afghanistan crisis on table, India’s National Security Advisor of India (NSA) Ajit Doval will be holding a significant meeting with his Russian counterpart- Secretary of the Security Council General Nikolay Patrushev. Earlier on Tuesday, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief William Burns was also in New Delhi to discuss a number of issues arising from Afghanistan.

Tthe Russian Secretary of the Security Council General Nikolay Patrushev will however aso be meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, the MEA announced.

This consultation is a follow-up to the telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 24, when the two leaders said the two strategic partners will work together and directed the senior officials of their respective countries to remain in touch on the developments in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Taliban announced the government of the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’, naming Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, the head of the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body ‘Rehbari Shura’ as its interim Prime Minister. He will be accompanied by Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as his deputy, Sirajuddin Haqqani as interior minister, Mohammad Yaqoob, the eldest son of the Taliban founder Mohammad Omar, as Minister of Defense.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said, “we are trying to include people from all parts of the country in the government”, as internal rifts between the three Taliban factions came to the forefront. It is important to note here that the interior minister of Afghanistan is designated as global terrorist by the FBI. 

While Mr. Modi will attend the SCO meeting on September 16 via videoconference, he is expected to travel in person to the United States for the Quad meeting slated for September 24. On Thursday, he will also host a virtual summit of BRICS countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, where Mr. Doval will make a presentation on security issues.

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