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US envoy sees India as Afghanistan’s key partner

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The US ambassador in India, Richard Verma said the other day that he sees India as key partner in Afghanistan’s future.

“We recognize India as a key partner in Afghanistan’s future, and we look forward to continuing to discuss and engage with India during upcoming high-level consultations on Afghanistan,” the envoy said.

The ambassador was addressing a conference in New Delhi. The think-tank was until recently headed by India’s National Security Adviser Ajeet Doval.

He said that President Obama and Prime Minister Modi spoke of their shared commitments to promote a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan. “Although the US combat mission ended in December 2014, we will continue to support the Afghan government as it pursues a future of peace… and an end to conflict,” he said. “Acting under Resolute Support Mission, US forces in Afghanistan will have two primary missions in the coming years: working with NATO counterparts to advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), and maintaining a counter-terrorism capability.”

Welcoming India’s quest to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) club, the recently appointed ambassador found occasion to speak on the region’s security challenges.

“Shipping lanes and air routes are the veins and arteries that keep our economies alive. In recognition of this fact, our leaders also recognized that we can do much more to safeguard maritime security, ensure freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, and promote peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region.”

He also said that India and the US can and should deepen collaboration to combat the spectrum of terrorist threats.

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