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Trilateral dialogue made good progress on economic side: Robert Blake

PTI Washington | Updated on November 17, 2017

A file photo of Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake.

The first-ever trilateral dialogue between India, Afghanistan and the United States made good progress on economic side in particular towards strengthening Afghan economy and regional integration, a senior US official said.

“We had some good conversations, particularly on the economic side, about how we can continue our work together to promote regional integration, to help build up the private sector in Afghanistan, to help this transition from an aid-based economy to a more trade and private sector-based economy,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake told reporters.

Senior officials from India, the United States and Afghanistan held their first-ever trilateral dialogue in New York on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

While the Afghan delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin; the American team was represented by Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador, Marc Grossman and Blake.

The Indian delegation was represented by the Joint Secretary (Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iran) Y.K. Sinha and Joint Secretary (Americas) Jawed Ashraf.

“All sides welcomed the frank and comprehensive nature of the discussions and agreed the dialogue helps advance their shared values, interests and goals,” Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations said in a statement.

The meeting was held at the mission’s premises in New York.

The announcement for trilateral meeting was announced by the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, after the India US Strategic Dialogue in Washington early this year.

“All our countries have been working very hard already on that, and so we discussed ways that we might be able to double up on those efforts. We also agreed that this was a useful consultation mechanism and that we’ll look for future opportunities,” Blake said responding to report.

Since India is South Asia’s largest economy, the US sees New Delhi as a natural partner which is in a unique position to promote economic growth and stability there.

“All of the parties at that dialogue welcomed the productive and comprehensive nature of our discussions and agreed that the talks helped to advance our shared interests and values,” he said.

“More broadly speaking, we are continuing to work very closely with Afghanistan’s neighbours and near neighbours in helping Afghanistan to build a sustainable economy while also supporting a successful security transition in Afghanistan,” he said.

“We’ve spoken many times about our regional approach to Afghanistan and how we believe Afghanistan benefits when neighbours are developing regional integration projects, working together to reduce trade barriers, and investing in each other’s markets,” Blake said.

Published on September 27, 2012

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