Afghanistan's Acting FM Rabbani to hold talks with PM Modi

Afghan Foreign Minister Sayed Salahuddin Rabbani

Afghanistan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani on Monday said that Afghanistan strongly and openly supports India's bid for permanent membership of United Nations Security Council.

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.

The Afghan foreign minister said the two countries reaffirmed their resolve to strengthen their security and defense cooperation, but did not give any details.

India will extend further assistance for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, the two countries announced after the 2nd round of their strategic partnership council meeting here.

Afghanistan has been pressing for greater Indian assistance in defence supplies and capacity building for a long time. The Minister said, strategic partnership with Afghanistan is an article of faith for India. He referred to "terrorists groups like LeT and JeM which have been launching attacks against India and indiscriminately killing civilians in this country and engaging in similar terrorist activities along with Taliban Al-Qaeda and Daesh in Afghanistan".

Without naming Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said that India and Afghanistan "will remain united in overcoming the challenges posed by cross-border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries". The two sides agreed to further cooperation in strengthening of the Afghan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology University in Kandahar as an agricultural university.

Swaraj underscored the importance of India-Afghanistan relations saying that it was not just for the people but for the region as well.

However, he said, "Both countries suffer from terrorism and violent extremism that threatens the regional stability". India already has donated three multi-role Mi-35 helicopters to Afghanistan, and is imparting training to Afghan security forces and police personnel. "India will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan", Swaraj said in her statement.

A number of other key projects were agreed upon including the upgrading of Shahtoot dam in Kabul, the implementation of low cost housing projects for return refugees, and the establishment of a water supply network for Charikar city in Parwan province among others.

Related News: