11 September, New Delhi
India and Afghanistan Monday exchanged four pacts in areas of health, transport, space and new development partnership. The agreements were exchanged after delegation level talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi.
Later addressing media, Mrs Swaraj said, India will continue to work with Afghanistan in its efforts to build a secure, stable, peaceful, prosperous, united and inclusive nation. She said, the two countries remain united in overcoming the challenges posed by cross-border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries.
The Minister said, strategic partnership with Afghanistan is an article of faith for India. She said, India will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan in realising their dreams.
Mrs Swaraj said, development of Chahbahar Port in trilateral cooperation with Iran is being expedited and India will supply wheat to Afghanistan in coming weeks through Chahbahar port. She said, 116 new High Impact Development Projects would be jointly implemented to bring socio-economic and infrastructure development in Afghanistan.
She said, India’s focus will continue on building governance and democratic institutions, human resource capacity and skill development.
Afghan Foreign Minister said, Afghanistan’s friendship with India does not mean hostility with others in the region. Rabbani said, current regional trends bring India and Afghanistan closer than ever to protect and achieve the socio-economic, security and trade interests.
The Minister said, India and Afghanistan both suffer from terrorism and violent extremism and terror outfits LeT and JeM are launching terror attacks against India killing innocent people and destroying public infrastructure. He said, these terror outfits are also targeting Afghanistan in league with Taliban, Al-Qaida and Daish.
Rabbani said, he and Mrs Swaraj discussed easing of visa regimes to promote trade and people to people contacts. The Afghan Foreign Minister arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a three day visit to India