Marc Grossman visiting India on Friday: US

Washington: Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman will be travelling to New Delhi on Friday to hold talks with his 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.

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 (Grossman) is in Abu Dhabi today. He`ll be there through tomorrow evening. He`s then going to New Delhi, which is a new stop. He`ll be there on Friday," State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters.

Nuland 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.

"In no way," Nuland said when asked if there is a message to Pakistan because they rejected him. "We made clear that we would welcome a stop by Ambassador Grossman in Islamabad on this trip. You know that the Pakistanis are looking hard internally at our relationship. They asked us to give them time to do that, so he will not be going there on this trip," she said.

"India does, as you know, support police training and other things in Afghanistan. So it`s important that we keep those lines of communication open," she said in response to a question.