Afghan Prez to pay official visit to India

New Delhi [India], Sept. 13 : Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai will arrive here on a two-day official visit tomorrow during which he will hold close consultations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on several issues of strategic importance to both sides.

It is assumed that India is during his visit likely to accept Kabul's demand for increased military assistance.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) earlier on Saturday said the discussion will cover a wide range of matters of mutual interest to both sides.

"The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to continue the close and frequent consultations between the two friendly neighbours, including at the highest level.

Such interaction is the hallmark of their strategic partnership and has guided the strengthening of all-round cooperation between the two countries," said a statement issued by the MEA.

The Afghan President during his visit will also interact with the business community and deliver an address at a prominent think tank in New Delhi.

India and Afghanistan have a strong relationship based on historical and cultural links. In recent past, Indo-Afghan relations have been further strengthened by the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed between the two countries in 2011.

As Afghanistan was undergoing three simultaneous political, security and economic transitions in 2015, India had allayed its fears about its future by making a long-term commitment to the security and development of Afghanistan.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the two sides, inter alia, provides for assistance to help rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure and institutions, education and technical assistance to re-build indigenous Afghan capacity in different areas, encouraging investment in Afghanistan's natural resources, providing duty free access to the Indian market for Afghanistan's exports support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, broad-based and inclusive process of peace and reconciliation, and advocating the need for a sustained and long-term commitment to Afghanistan by the international community.

Source: ANI