Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Afghan Defence Minister Visits India




India is committed to building the capabilities of the Afghan Security Forces. This was conveyed by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony to General Abdul Rahim Wardak, Minister of National Defence of Afghanistan, here today.

During the hour-long delegation level talks, Shri Antony said that as a longstanding friend of the Afghan people, India remains fully committed to supporting Afghanistan in its reconstruction and development efforts. He conveyed the Government of India’s willingness to work with the Afghan government in building the capabilities of the Afghan Security Forces in accordance with the priorities of the Afghan government. Both sides noted that terrorism continues to pose a threat to all countries in the region and noted the need to ensure cessation of support to such organizations in the interest of peace and development.

Shri Antony said that India attaches high importance to bilateral relations with Afghanistan, as is evidenced in the multifaceted relationship between the two governments. General Wardak, who is accompanied by a seven-member Afghan delegation, conveyed the appreciation of the people and the government of Afghanistan for the friendship and support of the Indian government and people.

The Afghan Defence Minister, who is on a three-day visit to India at the invitation of Shri Antony, earlier laid wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and was presented a Tri-Services Guard of Honour.

There have been periodic exchanges between the Armed Forces of the two countries since General Wardak last visited India in April, 2008. The Afghan Chief of General Staff, General Sher Mohammad Karimi visited India in October last year.

The visit of Afghan Defence Minister to India marks another step in the steady progress in bilateral relations, particularly as his visit comes soon after the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Afghanistan earlier this month.

DPR

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