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Kabul, New Delhi hold talks amid Trump’s bizarre remarks

AT-KABUL: Afghanistan briefed India on Friday on the security situation in the war-ravaged nation and efforts of the National Unity Government aimed at peace and reconciliation.

Visiting Afghan National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib held wide-ranging talks with India’s NSA Ajit Doval during which they exchanged views on the developments in his country. The holding of parliamentary elections and scheduled presidential elections there also came up for discussion.

“Held productive meetings in India with my counterpart NSA Ajit Doval and other security officials on regional stability, the democratic progress and ongoing peace efforts in Afghanistan, and bilateral security cooperation,” Mohib tweeted.

The meeting between the two NSAs came a day after India rejected US President Donald Trump’s observation, ridiculing New Delhi’s massive humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Mohib appreciated the assistance provided by India for economic development and reconstruction of Afghanistan and also for human resource development, including training of Afghan National Defence and security forces in India, India’s External Affairs Ministry said after the meeting.

Doval conveyed to him India’s continued support for the efforts of the Afghan government and the people to bring peace, security and prosperity in that country. He said India supported all efforts for peace and reconciliation that were Afghan owned, Afghan led and Afghan controlled.

Regional and international partners needed to work keeping in mind the priorities, wishes and desire of the Afghan people, he said. The Indian NSA said India welcomed the fact that the people of Afghanistan had time and again reposed faith in democratic governance and the forthcoming presidential elections would further deepen the roots of democracy in the country.

This comes as President Donald Trump has stirred a diplomatic tempest by ridiculing India’s development efforts in Afghanistan and sources in New Delhi have rejected the volatile remarks by pointing out the importance of nation-building in the war-torn nation and asserting that it provides troops only for United Nations operations.

Talking to reporters before a cabinet meeting in Washington on Wednesday, Trump said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi told him about a library that India had built in Afghanistan and mockingly said: “I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan.”

Dismissing Trump’s taunt, an Indian source in New Delhi said: “India firmly believes in the critical role that developmental assistance can play in transforming human lives.

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