India’s role is essential in Afghanistan, Trump mocking it unfortunate: Russian Dy FM

New Delhi: Countering United States President Donald Trump’s recent remark on India’s efforts in Afghanistan, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on Wednesday said that India’s role and its development work is essential in war-ravaged Afghanistan and it was unfortunate that President Trump was mocking it.

“It is very unfortunate that a very artificial competition is going on. We understand the essential role of India regarding Afghanistan. We all welcome India and Indian representatives beside we maintain the bilateral dialogue with Afghanistan,” Ryabkov said.

He further said that both India and Russia were highly concerned with the situation in Afghanistan and the two countries were very much in sync “on this very important issue.”

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“We are committed to working on this issue and also wish that there would be less artificial competition”, the Russian Minister said when asked to comment on President Trump’s recent remarks in which he tried to undermine India’s developmental and rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan by saying what India is doing is just five hours of the total work that the US is doing in that country.

“I could give you an example where I get along very well with India and Prime Minister Modi. But he is constantly telling me, he built a library in Afghanistan. Library!…You know what that is? That’s like five hours of what we spend (in Afghanistan), and we are supposed to say, ‘Oh, thank you for the library.’ I don’t know who is using it in Afghanistan,” the US President had said while stressing the need for other countries in the region to do more in Afghanistan.

President Trump said that India, Russia, and Pakistan should be intervening in Afghanistan and not the US which is “6,000 miles away.”
Russia has been making efforts to engage with the Taliban to bring peace in the country and restore normalcy. India too is involved in the process in different ways mainly through rebuilding and infrastructure development.

Responding to President Trump’s comments, Ryabkov said such remarks undermine the commonly recognized international law order even and expressed concerns over the increase in international conflicts.

“We have a situation where new actors engage in activities that were not known to humankind. Cybercrime is an indication to turn the world into a battlefield,” he opined.

Talking about the growing threat to outer space, the minister said: “We will see some country will have their presence in the outer space by targeting from such places.” He added that Russia is at the forefront of providing solutions to such a type of threat.

Meanwhile, commenting on the on S-400 missile deal between India and Russia amidst threats for sanctions by US, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said: “Irrespective (of) CAATSA, irrespective (of) illegitimate attempts by the US to distort this deal, we have the methodology to provide for payments, ideas to deal with issue of procurement and nothing can be done by the US to disrupt this.”


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