India to attend Moscow format meet on Afghanistan on 20th October

India has rejected China’s opposition to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s trip to Arunachal Pradesh. Briefing media in New Delhi last evening, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. He said, Indian leaders routinely travel to Arunachal Pradesh as they do to any other state of India. He added that objecting to the visit of Indian leaders to a state of India does not stand to reason and understanding of Indian people.

On Bhutan and China signing an MoU on three-step roadmap for expediting the Bhutan-China boundary negotiations, the MEA spokesperson said, India is aware that they have been holding boundary negotiations.

Replying to another query, Mr Bagchi said India will participate in the Moscow Format Meeting on Afghanistan on 20th October. This will be the first meeting of the Moscow Format since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The Moscow Format was launched in 2017 as a six-party mechanism for consultations between representatives of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and Russia.

On humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, Mr Bagchi said, India’s policy towards Afghanistan is guided by friendship with Afghan people. He said, India has in the past provided assistance, both for infrastructure as well as infrastructure assistance.

On attacks on religious gatherings in Bangladesh, the spokesperson said, celebrations of Durga Puja continue in Bangladesh with the support of government of Bangladesh agencies and large majority of the public. He said, India High Commission in Dhaka as well as Consulates in Bangladesh are in close contact with the authorities in Dhaka and at local levels over the issue. He noted that Bangladesh government has reacted very promptly to ensure control of the situation.

Regarding resumption of vaccine supply, the spokesperson said, it has been decided to resume COVID-19 vaccine supply to neighbourhood initially. He added that India has sent vaccines to Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Iran.

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