EAM Jaishankar holds talks with UAE President’s advisor


New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held talks with Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic advisor to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with a focus on “regional concerns” of common interest.

It is learnt that Jaishankar and Gargash deliberated on the Afghan crisis besides the overall situation in the Gulf region.

“Happy to welcome Diplomatic Advisor to President of UAE, Dr. @AnwarGargash. Noted the steady progress of our relationship.

Discussed regional concerns of common interest,” Jaishankar tweeted.

The visit to India by the senior diplomat of the UAE comes at a time Afghanistan is witnessing fast-paced developments following the Taliban’s capture of power.

The Taliban seized control of Kabul on August 15, hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Four days later, Ghani surfaced in the United Arab Emirates.

On Saturday, senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said that the group wants to maintain Afghanistan’s trade, economic and political relations with India while describing it as an important country in the region.

“We attach great importance to our trade, economic and political relations with India and want to maintain that relation,” Stanekzai said.

India is adopting a wait and watch approach to see whether the new dispensation in Afghanistan will be solely a government of the Taliban or be part of a power-sharing arrangement with other Afghan leaders.

India has been a key stakeholder in Afghanistan and has invested nearly USD 3 billion in carrying out nearly 500 projects across that country.

India has been in touch with all major regional players including those in the Gulf region on the developments in Afghanistan.

In the last few years, India’s ties with the UAE have witnessed a major upswing.

In December last year, Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane travelled to the UAE and it was the first-ever visit by a head of the Indian Army to the influential Gulf nation.

In July, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria visited 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.

The UAE Air Force had provided mid-air refuelling to a number of Rafale fighter jets on their journey from France to India.

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