India's role in Afghanistan appreciated

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, Sep 22, 2016 22:00 hrs

New Delhi/United Nations, Sep 22 (IANS) The US and Afghanistan appreciated India's role in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan at a trilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday.

"India briefed the participants on the important decisions and discussions pertaining to expansion and future of development cooperation with Afghanistan during the recent visit of (Afghan) President Ashraf Ghani to India," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here.

"India's continued commitment to the reconstruction of Afghanistan was appreciated by all the parties," he said.

Swarup said that the three sides shared their experiences and exchanged views on various key democratic processes and institutions such as inclusive democracy, elections, parliament, peace and reconciliation and efforts to reinforce them.

"The possibilities of cooperative efforts in specific sectors in Afghanistan were also explored," the spokesperson said.

"The security situation and the challenges posed by terrorism in the region were discussed."

Swarup said the continued commitment of the international community to strengthening capacity of the war-torn country "to meet these challenges adequately and effectively was appreciated and views were exchanged on the emerging security situation and its implications".

"Reaffirming their shared interests in advancing peace and security in the region, as well as countering terrorism, all sides welcomed the discussions focused on political, economic, and development goals in Afghanistan, including the regional dimension," a joint press statement issued in New York after the meeting on Wednesday said.

The meeting was attended by Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai, and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson.

They exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan and on regional issues of mutual interest.

"The meeting provided a forum for the US government and the government of India to explore ways to coordinate and align their assistance with the priorities of the Afghan government," the statement said.

"They agreed that the dialogue helps advance shared values and goals, and decided to continue these consultations on a regular basis."

Wednesday's India-US-Afghanistan trilateral meeting was held after a gap of three years.

That the meeting would be held was announced by US Secretary of State John Kerry after the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue held here last month.

The meeting comes in the wake of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's visit to India earlier this month and after Sunday's cross-border terror attack from Pakistan on an army base camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 18 Indian soldiers.

--IANS

ab/vt



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