India backs Afghanistan-led peace process: SM Krishna

9:31 PM, Monday, December 5th, 2011

SM Krishna Bonn: As global talks kick-off in Bonn to chart the future course for Afghanistan, India on Monday said it would ‘fully’ support an Afghanistan-led and owned peace process.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna arrived in Bonn for the conference attended by Foreign Ministers of 64 nations and senior officials from nearly 50 other countries except Pakistan.

“We totally support the people of Afghanistan in their path of peace and condemn the act of terrorism on innocent people,” Krishna said on his arrival.
The second Bonn conference is also aimed at ensuring international financial and technical support continues after the NATO troops withdraw in 2014.

Noting that India envisioned a peaceful and terror free Afghanistan, Krishna said “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process will be fully backed by India.”

“The goal of this conference will be to lay the groundwork for a free, secure and prosperous Afghanistan,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told about 1,000 delegates from around the world gathered in Bonn.

“We send a clear message to the people of Afghanistan: we will not leave you alone, you will not be abandoned,” he said.

A previous conference in Bonn in December 2001 established an interim government for Afghanistan after US-led troops ousted the Taliban militia.

Pakistan pulled out of the Bonn conference after 24 of its soldiers were killed in NATO air strikes last week. Despite requests by US, Germany and Afghanistan to reconsider its decision, Islamabad has refused to be part of the crucial meet.

There are around 1.4 lakh international troops in Afghanistan and all NATO-led combat forces are due to leave by the end of 2014, when Kabul will assume responsibility for the country’s security. – ibn

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