Afghanistan suggests larger regional role for India, claims Sushma Swaraj


India, Afghanistan agree to bolster security cooperation

Top Afghan and Indian officials are due to meet in New Delhi, the capital city of India, in the aftermath of the new U.S. policy for Afghanistan and South Asia.

Without naming Pakistan, Swaraj said that India and Afghanistan "will remain united in overcoming the challenges posed by cross-border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries".

"We hope also that India, as a good friend of other countries in the region like Russian Federation and Iran, can convince those countries to work with the Afghan government to support the peace process in Afghanistan", he added.

India today agreed to extend further assistance to bolster the armed forces of Afghanistan as the two strategic partners made a decision to deepen security ties and work closely to combat the challenge of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.

India, Afghanistan agree to bolster security cooperation

Sushma Swaraj said India honoured the supreme sacrifices by Afghan Defence and Security Forces for the cause of entire humanity.

Mr Rabbani said the current regional situation brings Afghanistan and India closer to protect and achieve their socio-economic goal and protect citizens.

According to the Associated Press, India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj told Afghanistan that New Delhi would speed up the port's development and begin supplying wheat within weeks through Chabahar. India trains Afghan soldiers in its military academy and has supplied attack helicopters.

Sushma Swaraj referred to the high-level visits exchanged between the two countries over the last three years, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visits in December 2015 to inaugurate a new building of the Afghan Parliament in Kabul and then again in June 2016 to inaugurate the Salma Dam in Herat province reconstructed with India's aid.

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He said Afghanistans friendship with India or any other country does not mean hostility with others in the neighbourhood. The FM also touched upon the problem of terrorism faced by both the nation saying, terrorism and violent extremism threaten the region's stability.

The visiting Minister said "Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad have been launching attacks against India and indiscriminately killing civilians of this country".

"The enabling environment for terrorism is directly linked to continued support they receive from outside of Afghanistan", he said.

"Unlike others, Afghanistan has hardly sought security in the insecurity of others".

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Stating that both sides discussed measures for enhancing trade and investment cooperation, Sushma Swaraj said that India has liberalised its visa regime, especially for Afghan businessmen.

The new projects would include a dam and drinking water supply project for Kabul, a low-priced housing project for refugees, and a polyclinic in Mazar-e Sharif. The EAM added to improve connectivity and transit, India would be expediting development of Chahbahar Port in trilateral cooperation with Iran.

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