India, Afghanistan committed to overcome challenges posed by cross-border terrorism: Sushma Swaraj

Afghanistan has been pressing for greater Indian assistance in defence supplies and capacity building for a long time. Rabbani further said that his country’s friendship with India does not mean hostility to any other country and that it is not a zero-sum game.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani in Delhi on Monday. (Source: Twitter/MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar )

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani in Delhi on Monday. (Source: Twitter/MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar )

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday asserted that India will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with people of Afghanistan, insisting that both countries remain united in overcoming challenges posed by cross-border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries. Among other declarations, the Ministry of External Affairs said India will expedite development of Chabahar port in trilateral cooperation with Iran and will begin supply of wheat to its Asian neighbour in coming weeks.

Addressing a joint press meet after co-chairing the Indo-Afghan strategic partnership council with her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani, Swaraj said India’s relationship with Afghanistan is an “article of faith”. “India has further agreed to provide assistance to Afghan national defence forces,” Rabbani said. Citing that both countries were victims of terrorism and violent extremism, Rabbani stated that both countries have also agreed to strengthen security cooperation.

Afghanistan has been pressing for greater Indian assistance in defence supplies and capacity building for a long time. Rabbani further said that his country’s friendship with India does not mean hostility to any other country and that it is not a zero-sum game.

India and Afghanistan signed four pacts after the meeting, including a motor vehicles agreement and a fresh document on India’s development assistance. “We jointly agreed to embark on a New Development Partnership in keeping with the priorities of Afghanistan..116 new High Impact Development Projects would be jointly implemented that would bring socio-economic and infrastructure development,” Swaraj said, adding that both nations discussed measures for enhancing trade and investment cooperation.

Rabbani also said Afghanistan strongly and openly supports India’s long-standing demand for permanent membership of UN Security Council. -TIE

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