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World India to press Blinken on Afghanistan, China

09:41  28 july  2021
09:41  28 july  2021 Source:   afp.com

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Indian officials were expected on Wednesday to express alarm over Taliban gains in Afghanistan and to press for more support against China in talks with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken . Blinken , in his first trip to India as America's top diplomat, was meanwhile due to raise concerns over human rights in his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. US- India relations have historically been prickly but China 's growing assertiveness pushed them closer, particularly since deadly clashes last year on the disputed Indo- Chinese Himalayan

India ’s archrival Pakistan and China also declined to attend the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan . This photo provided by India 's foreign ministry shows, from left, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Russia, India , Iran, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic officials in New Delhi According to Indian security expert and political commentator Bharat Karnad, the meeting in New Delhi is “a way of alerting everybody to India ’s stake and India ’s interests in Afghanistan ”. “This is a way of India saying we too have a stake in Afghanistan and making that aspect clear to the world,” Karnad

Indian officials were expected Wednesday to express alarm over Taliban gains in Afghanistan and to press for more support against China in talks with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

a group of people standing around a plane: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on his first trip to India as America's top diplomat © JONATHAN ERNST US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on his first trip to India as America's top diplomat

Blinken, in his first trip to India as America's top diplomat, was meanwhile due to raise concerns over human rights in his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

US-India relations have historically been prickly but China's growing assertiveness pushed them closer, particularly since deadly clashes last year on the disputed Indo-Chinese Himalayan border.

Blinken to pay first trip to India amid Afghanistan withdrawal

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Indian officials were expected Wednesday to express alarm over Taliban gains in Afghanistan and to press for more support against China in talks with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken . Blinken , in his first trip to India as America's top diplomat, was meanwhile due to raise concerns The Taliban welcomed virulently anti- Indian extremists when the Sunni Muslim militants ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. A hijacked Indian airliner was flown to the Taliban bastion of Kandahar in 1999. India , a firm backer of the Afghan government with billions of dollars in development aid, recently

US- Indian relations have long been cool but China 's growing assertiveness pushed them closer, particularly since deadly clashes last year on the disputed Indo- Chinese Himalayan border. New Delhi is meanwhile alarmed that a possible Taliban takeover in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of forces will turn the country into a haven for anti- India forces. The Taliban leadership is headquartered in Pakistan and Islamabad has used its leverage, which it says is now waning, to press the Taliban to talk peace. READ MORE: Antony Blinken 's neo-colonial letter to Afghanistan .

India is part of the Quad alliance with the United States, Japan and Australia, seen as a bulwark against China.

But according to Brahma Chellaney, strategic affairs expert at India's Centre for Policy Research, US backing has "slipped a notch" since Joe Biden took over from Donald Trump as president.

"India is locked in a military standoff with China but unlike top Trump administration officials who publicly condemned China's aggression and backed India, no one in Team Biden has so far lent open support to India," Chellaney told AFP.

Biden has further riled New Delhi with Washington's "rushed and poorly planned exit from Afghanistan", Chellaney added.

India is worried that a possible takeover by the Taliban, which it sees as backed by its arch-rival Pakistan, will turn the country into a base for militants to attack India.

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said China 's possible involvement in Afghanistan could be "a positive thing". He said this was if China was looking towards a "peaceful resolution of the conflict" and a "truly representative and inclusive" government. His comments came after Taliban "No one has an interest in a military takeover of the country by the Taliban, the restoration of an Islamic emirate," said Mr Blinken , who was asked about the talks while on a visit to India . He urged the Taliban to come to the "negotiating table peacefully". Nine Taliban representatives had on Wednesday travelled to

Washington sees India as helping in U.S. efforts to stand up to China 's increasingly assertive behavior in Asia and beyond. Blinken 's trip will follow a visit by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to China and coincide with one to Southeast Asia by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Blinken is also likely to discuss plans for an in-person summit of the so-called Quad. The grouping of India , Japan, Australia and the United States is seen as a counter to China 's rising influence. The meeting - which diplomats and others said could coincide with the late-September U.N. General Assembly, pandemic

The Taliban welcomed virulently anti-Indian extremists when the Sunni Muslim militants ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.


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A hijacked Indian airliner was flown to the Taliban bastion of Kandahar in 1999.

India, a firm backer of the Afghan government with billions of dollars in development aid, recently evacuated 50 staff from its Kandahar consulate due to the worsening security situation.

- 'Sedition' -

The talks in a monsoon-soaked New Delhi will also touch on joint efforts on making Covid-19 vaccines, climate change and, according to US officials, India's recent human rights record.

Under Modi, India has made growing use of anti-terrorism legislation and "sedition" laws to arrest people.

Blinken in India for talks dominated by Afghan turmoil, China

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CNN's Jake Tapper presses Secretary of State Antony Blinken on President Joe Biden's handling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan .

In the talks proper, Indian officials were expected to express alarm over Taliban gains in Afghanistan and to press Blinken for more support in New Delhi's border standoff with China . US- India relations have historically been prickly but China 's growing assertiveness pushed them closer, particularly since deadly The Taliban welcomed virulently anti- Indian militants when the group ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. A hijacked Indian airliner was flown to the Taliban bastion of Kandahar in 1999. India , a firm backer of the Afghan government with billions of dollars in development aid, recently evacuated

Critics say that is aimed at silencing dissent. The government denies this.

The Hindu nationalist government has also brought in legislation that detractors say discriminates against India's 170-million-strong Muslim minority.

Modi insists all Indians have equal rights.

Blinken told Indian civil society groups on Wednesday before his talks with Modi that the world's two biggest democracies were united in shared values such as rule of law and freedom of religion.

"These are fundamental tenets of democracy like ours and our purpose is to give real meaning to these words and constantly renew our commitment to these ideals. And of course, both of our democracies are works in progress. As friends, we talk about that," he said.

"As I said before, sometimes that process is painful. Sometimes it's ugly. But the strength of democracy is to embrace it."

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Union and FDP Contra SPD and Greens: Interior Minister Seehofer wants to further shut down after Afghanistan .
Despite the Taliban, Seehofer holds on deportations to Afghanistan. FDP boss Lindner also rejects a deportation stop as required by SPD and Greens. © Photo: Fabian Sommer / DPA Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer holds on deportations to Afghanistan. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) wants to hold on deportations to Afghanistan - despite the occurrence of the Taliban there.

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