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India stands committed for building a peaceful Afghanistan: Modi promises Abdullah

India also nods for the third phase of 92 small development projects in Afghanistan

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Sawaraj on Monday in New Delhi.

Indian primer reiterated New Delhi’s commitments to help Afghans in building of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.

Abdullah is on a five-day visit to India and would leave for Jaipur, Rajasthan on Tuesday to attend the counterterrorism conference.

“The prime minister expressed his deep gratitude for the government and the national security forces of Afghanistan for their bravery and sacrifices to protect the Indians, especially during the attack on the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif on January 4-5, 2016,” India’s ministry of external affairs said in a statement.

“The prime minister reiterated India’s commitment to extend all possible supports to the efforts of Afghan people in building a peaceful, stable, prosperous, inclusive and democratic country,” it stated.

Abdullah recalled positively Modi’s “maiden and successful” visit to Afghanistan in December.

Modi inaugurated the new Afghan parliament building funded and constructed by Indian government.

Abdullah said in New Delhi that Modi’s visit reenergized the strategic partnership between the two states, according to the statement.

“He (Abdullah) deeply appreciated the support being extended by India for the infrastructure development and capacity building in Afghanistan,” the statement added. “The two leaders shared views on further deepening the strategic partnership, both in the bilateral and regional contexts.”

Also, an agreement for visa-free travels for diplomatic passport holders of the two countries was signed.

Separately, Abdullah held a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in which she approved the third phase of 92 small development projects in Afghanistan.

External affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted that Ms Swaraj approved the “strategic partnership for the benefit of (Afghan) people”. The Indian president Pranab Mukherjee is expected to inaugurate counterterrorism conference on Tuesday in Jaipur.

Abdullah left Kabul for New Delhi on Sunday. He will leave for Jaipur today (Tuesday) and will deliver the keynote address at a conference on counterterrorism organized by the India Foundation in collaboration with Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice, Jodhpur.

The first counterterrorism conference was held in March 2015 in Jaipur.

The conference will bring together counterterrorism practitioners, policy makers and public intellectuals from India and abroad, the president’s secretariat of India said in a statement.

Abdullah’s visit to India and participating in the counterterrorism conference in Jaipur is taking place just four days ahead of the third round of quadrilateral meeting between representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China in Islamabad. The participants would shed lights on methods to create a roadmap for the resumption of face-to-face peace talks with the Taliban.

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