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India, US, Afghanistan to hold trilateral meet today

Press Trust of India
Feb 19, 2013 at 03:59am IST

New Delhi: India, the US and Afghanistan will hold their second trilateral meet in New Delhi on Tuesday to discuss all aspects of the situation in Afghanistan, especially in the backdrop of US' announcement of withdrawing 34,000 American troops from the war-torn country in the next one year.

The official-level meet will discuss ways to enhance cooperation to deal with common challenges and opportunities, including combating terrorism and violent extremism and increasing regional trade and investment, sources said.

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin, YK Sinha, Additional Secretary (PAI) and Vikram Kumar Doraiswami, Joint Secretary (Americas) from India and Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake from the US will lead their respective delegations.

India, US, Afghanistan to hold trilateral meet today

The official-level meet will discuss ways to enhance cooperation to deal with common challenges and opportunities, including combating terrorism.

Coming within days of US President Barack Obama announcing the specific troop withdrawal plan for Afghanistan, the meeting is also expected to focus on its impact and future strategy.

Announcing that 34,000 American troops will be withdrawn from war-torn Afghanistan in the next one year, Obama showed confidence of ending a decade-long war by the end of 2014.

"This spring, our forces will move into a support role, while Afghan security forces take the lead. Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan," he said in his annual State of the Union Address to the Congress.

"This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over," he said. The first India-US and Afghanistan trilateral was held in the US last September during which the three sides had free flowing and frank discussion on all aspects of the situation in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, top government sources said India was still "studying" the details of meeting hosted in the UK by British Prime Minister David Cameron for presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The meeting was also attended by top spies and military generals from the three countries.

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