US-India-Afghanistan Trilateral Meet to Resume in New York on September 21

US Secretary of State John Kerry laughs before he begins a question-and-answer session with students, administrators, and civic leaders following a speech about US-India relations and foreign affairs during a visit to Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in New Dehli, India, on August 31, 2016

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Washington, DC – The United States on Thursday (Sept 8) confirmed that the stalled trilateral summit with India and Afghanistan will be held this month on the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Answering a question from Indian American Times, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said that the summit was tentatively scheduled, “for September 21st on the margins of the UN General Assembly.” Toner didn’t have any further details about the summit which was announced by US Secretary of State John Kerry during his recent India trip.

Kerry told journalists at a press conference in New Delhi that the US would open the trilateral talks at the forthcoming United Nations meetings in New York with a view to stabilizing Afghanistan, whose US-backed government is struggling to contain Taliban rebels.

Kerry said the United States was working to address tensions in Afghanistan’s fragile coalition of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. India’s participation in the talks could only help strengthen those efforts and underscore to the Afghan leaders the importance of a stable and unified Afghanistan, he added.

It may be recalled that the first trilateral dialogue was hosted by Afghanistan in New York on September 25, 2012 and India in 2013 hosted the second and last meeting in New Delhi. Representatives at the second trilateral summit were Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin, US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake, Jr. and Indian Additional Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran) Y. K. Sinha.

India has provided a little over $2 billion in economic assistance to Afghanistan in the last 15 years and said recently it would deliver more arms to Afghanistan.

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