Jul 20 2013, 4:05am CDT | by IANS
Washington, July 20 — Calling India "an essential partner" in Afghanistan, the US has said that it shares New Delhi's view about an Afghan-led peace process that results in a democratic, peaceful, and stable Afghanistan.
During his first trip to India starting Monday, US Vice President Joe Biden will convey Washington's "view that the necessary outcomes of any Afghan-led process that involves the Taliban has to be breaking with Al Qaeda, renouncing violence, and abiding by the terms of the Afghan constitution," a senior administration official said Friday.
"The United States has been very clear on these necessary outcomes, remains clear on them in all of our dealings, and that will be a feature of his consultations with the Indians on the peace-process question when he's (Biden) in Delhi," the official said in a White House conference call.
"The circumstances in Afghanistan are the subject of very close consultations between our governments, and in terms of the ...peace process," he said in response to a question about differences in US and Indian views about talks with Taliban.
"It's also very clear from our perspective in our consultations with the Indians that we share the view that an Afghan-led process that results in a democratic, peaceful, and stable Afghanistan is the core outcome that we are looking for," he said.
"And, again, the Indian role is an important one ... in contributing to regional peace and stability," he added.
"From the US perspective, India is an essential partner in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and a prosperous Afghanistan," the official said noting India had played an "important role as a development partner and in supporting economic development in Afghanistan."
It was "also supporting the institutions of the Afghan state, and in facilitating commercial investment at a significant level in Afghanistan to create the conditions for peace, prosperity, and stability."
Meanwhile, at the State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters that the US wants "all of Afghanistan's neighbours, everybody in the region, to play a constructive role to help Afghanistan as it moves towards a, again, peaceful, stable, democratic, united system."
"So we've been clear about that and will continue to be, no matter who wins the elections going forward," she said in a response to a question about what role the US wanted India to play in Afghanistan after the elections.
"I think we've been clear that our partnership with India is an incredibly important one," Harf said noting "We have a broad cooperative relationship with India on a host of issues and we'll continue to do so going forward."
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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