Iran leaves India out of Afghan meet
India has been left out of a meeting called by Iran on Wednesday of neighbouring countries on Afghanistan as Tehran has decided to invite only those that share a land border with the war-ravaged country, besides Russia.
The meeting was announced by Iran on October 18, the day India joined Israel, the UAE and the US in what is being called the Middle East Quad.
Announcing the meeting, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said it will be attended by China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, which share land borders with Afghanistan.
Russia is the only other invitee to the meeting which does not share a land border with Afghanistan. In leaving out India, Iran has disregarded New Delhi’s contention that it shares a 106km-long land border with Afghanistan in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Billing the meeting as another initiative to address the political crisis in Afghanistan, the Iranian embassy in New Delhi said in a statement that the foreign ministers of the seven countries will meet in Tehran — two of them virtually — to discuss how they as surrounding countries can contribute to the creation of an inclusive government in Kabul with active participation of all ethnic groups.