Grossman to visit India on Thursday

Washington: US Special Envoy for Af-Pak region Marc Grossman will travel to New Delhi to hold talks with Indian officials on issues related to Afghanistan, including the peace talks with the Taliban.

"We believe that India has a role to play in supporting a democratic, prosperous future for Afghanistan. They`re very much a player in the New Silk Road initiative," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters on Grossman`s visit to India from tomorrow.

Notably, New Delhi was not on the initial itinerary of Grossman who left Washington this weekend for a two-week trip to the region, taking him to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Afghanistan among others. "He`s (Grossman) going to New Delhi, which is a new stop. He`ll be there on Friday," Nuland said.

She said the United States believes that India has a role to play in Afghanistan. "These are all part and parcel of the same "fight, talk, build" strategy. "All of these meetings are focused on the support these countries give to Afghanistan and talking through the process of Afghan-led reconciliation and how we can all support the aspirations of Afghanistan," she said.

Grossman also wanted to travel to Pakistan, but the request was turned down by Islamabad on the pretext that it`s parliament is still reviewing its relationship with US. But the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news briefing here that nothing should be read between Grossman`s travel to New Delhi after he not going to Islamabad.