US Af-Pak representative in India for talks

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins arrived here Wednesday from Pakistan for talks with Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and Special Envoy S.K. Lambah.

“Ambassador Dobbins will discuss a range of issues, including the Afghan-led reconciliation process,” said a US embassy statement here.

Dobbins’ visit comes a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry flew out of India after a three-day official visit for the India-US Strategic Dialogue.

Kerry had assured India that Washington would proceed with peace talks with the Taliban only if it is an Afghan-led process and the insurgent group abjures violence.

Dobbins had met Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday and discussed developments in Afghanistan, including the proposed peace talks to be held in Qatar, where the insurgent group has opened an office.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai had earlier refused to participate in the talks over the Taliban unfurling its flag at the office and naming it the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. On Tuesday, he agreed to attend the talks after the Taliban brought down the flag and changed the name plate.

Dobbins had visited Kabul on Monday where he is reported to have said that Washington had been “outraged” at the manner in which the Taliban opened the office, noting this was “inconsistent” with assurances the US had given and received.

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