Kabul, New Delhi seek closer cooperation
AT-KABUL: The second meeting of India-Afghanistan Joint Working Group on Development Cooperation (JWG-DC) was hosted in Kabul on August 9, 2018. The meeting was co-chaired by Shri T. S. Tirumurti, India’s Secretary of Economic Relations, and Ismail Rahimi, Afghan Deputy Minister of Policy and Technical Affairs of Ministry of Economy.
The JWG-DC is one of the four Joint Working Groups formed under the India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council, which is headed by the External Affairs Minister of India and the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan. The Strategic Partnership Council is mandated for the overall management of the strategic relationship between India and Afghanistan.
During the meeting of the JWG-DC, both sides had an exhaustive review of the large number of ongoing development projects spread over varied areas of cooperation such as capacity building, infrastructure, education, healthcare, good-governance, human resource development, etc. The two sides also expressed satisfaction over the successful completion of several development projects such as the Afghan Parliament building, Afghan-India Friendship Dam, the first phase of Chabahar port and others.
The Afghan side highly appreciated India’s timely assistance of 170,000 tonnes of wheat and 2,000 tonnes of pulses during this year when large parts of the country are suffering from drought. Both sides also expressed satisfaction that these largescale deliveries were made from India to Afghanistan via Chabahar, highlighting the viability of Chabahar as a route for trade and commerce. Both sides underscored the importance of access through Chabahar port for strengthening trade and economic relations.
Encouraged by high level of cooperation in the field of development assistance and deep mutual trust between the two sides, it was decided to take up several small, medium and largescale projects for implementation in the near future. These projects most prominently include the Shahtoot dam, low cost housing for the returning refugees in Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan, polyclinic in Mazar e Sharif, construction of road connecting Band-e-Amir in Bamyan Province to the Bamyan-Yakawlang Highway and many others.
Both sides underscored the importance of safety and security of Indian personnel involved in development projects in Afghanistan. The Afghan side assured their cooperation in ensuring the security of the Indian personnel.
The Indian side also accepted the request for consideration of new projects, shared by the Afghan side. It was agreed that these projects will be examined and considered for implementation, based on the priorities of the people and the Government of Afghanistan.
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