New Delhi disturbed by Afghan security

Jan. 11, 2011 at 1:57 PM
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NEW DELHI, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- New Delhi supports reconciliation in Afghanistan but the security situation in the war-torn country is "very disturbing," an Indian official said.

S.M. Krishna, the Indian minister of external affairs, said on his Tuesday return from Kabul that he was concerned the Taliban in Afghanistan were undermining reconciliation and providing safe haven for Pakistan terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba.

"What is happening in Afghanistan is something which is very disturbing," he was quoted by Indian newspaper The Hindu as saying. "The Taliban is an umbrella organization which shelters LeT and other terrorist organizations."

New Delhi placed special conditions on its work in Afghanistan after its staff was targeted in attacks in Kabul in 2008.

P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington recognized that each nation has a unique relationship with Kabul.

"We have made clear that India, as a regional and emerging global power, has every right to have its own relationship with Afghanistan and we appreciate the support to the government of Afghanistan that India has provided," he said during his regular press briefing.

Krishna said New Delhi supported any effort by the Afghan government to reconcile with moderate insurgents and work on reconstruction issues bilaterally.

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