US special envoy on Afghanistan to visit India this week

Insight Online News

New Delhi, March 19 : The US special representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, will be travelling to India this week to hold consultations on working together to support Afghan people who continue to reel under a severe humanitarian crisis.

West’s visit comes just after an Indian delegation met Taliban’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mottaqi in Kabul earlier this month to discuss humanitarian assistance and trade.

“This week I will travel to India and the United Arab Emirates to meet with our partners about working together to support Afghans,” West said in a post on X on Tuesday.

West, who travelled to India in December 2022, had commended Afghanistan’s closest neighbour for working towards protecting civilians in the strife-torn region with “critical humanitarian aid”.

The takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in August 2021 has exacerbated the country’s humanitarian situation, leaving an estimated 28.3 million Afghans in dire need of food assistance, medical supplies, and other support.

According to a 2023 UN report, more than eight million Afghans have been driven out of their homes or their country due to conflict, violence and abject poverty, and at least 3.2 million Afghans are displaced within their own country.

Last year, the Indian government sent 47,500 metric tonnes of wheat and 200 tonnes of medical aid to Afghanistan.

To facilitate the internal distribution of wheat, India has collaborated with the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP).

The visit by West, who engages with the Taliban and works to mobilise international support for the people of Afghanistan, comes just after Pakistan on Monday launched airstrikes in the border regions of the country, reportedly killing at least eight civilians, including three children.

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