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India To Further Boost Strategic Cooperation With Afghanistan

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The second Indo-Afghan Strategic Partnership Council meeting was held in New Delhi on Monday.
At the meeting, both countries held extensive talks and discussed political relations, security issues, development and cultural cooperation, investments and reviewing challenges in mutual relations. Afghanistan minister of foreign affairs also met with Indian national security advisor and discussed counter terrorist efforts and other related issues.
India and Afghanistan were committed to staying united in dealing with the challenge posed by cross – border terrorism.
“Relation with Afghanistan is a chapter of trust and confidence for India. India will further provide assistance to Afghanistan national defense and security forces as both countries have agreed to bolster security cooperation,” said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in a joint press conference with her Afghan counterpart, pointing that relation between Afghanistan and India were significant not only for India but also for the whole region.
Based on agreement signed at the meeting of second Indo-Afghan Strategic Partnership Council, relations in trade, political, cultural and security sector will further expand as representatives of Afghanistan ministries of interior, national defense, foreign affairs and national Security Council are members of the Indo-Afghan Strategic Council led by foreign ministers of the two countries. The council better organizes current cooperation between Afghanistan and India as well as cooperation mentioned in framework of strategic cooperation agreement.
The meeting was held three weeks after US President Donald Trump announced US new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia. In the new strategy US President welcomed the Indian role in Afghanistan, but put pressure on Pakistan. Experts believe that a strategic triangle of Afghanistan, US and India is under way to be formed. India, which is one key donors of Afghanistan in the region, has spent more than $ 2 billion in reconstruction and governance sections of Afghanistan during the past 16 years. The people and governments of Afghanistan and India have close and historic friendship. India has also highly supported all efforts made by the people and government of Afghanistan towards maintaining peace, security, counter terrorism and reconstruction during the past few decades.
It is worth mentioning that at the meeting of the second Indo-Afghan Strategic Partnership Council, Afghanistan and India signed four pacts, including one on vehicular movement to boost overland transit and another on a fresh batch of development projects in Afghanistan. New Delhi has invested in Iran’s Chabahar port so Afghan and India traders can make use of the port as a transit route for their goods. Afghanistan and India hope that trade with Central Asian countries will further expand through the port.
Indo-Afghan Strategic Partnership meetings held based on articles of strategic cooperation agreement signed in 2011 between Afghanistan and India was held to further boost strategic cooperation between the two countries and review challenges in strategic relations between Afghanistan and India.
Lailuma Noori

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