Afghan President, Indian Premier Discuss Security
28 August 2005 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai today discussed regional security and terrorism with visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Speaking at a joint news conference in Kabul, Karzai said peace between India and Pakistan is vital for the region, and called for the three countries to work together to defeat terrorism.
Singh reaffirmed India's commitment to help Afghanistan, saying the country's recovery is essential for stability in the region.
"We have to strengthen the economy of Afghanistan," Singh said. "We have to ensure that the democratic process which is underway in this great country moves forward smoothly. So, whatever help that the government of Afghanistan may ask for, we will be very happy to consider. It is for the government and people of Afghanistan to indicate to us what type of help is required. We are ready to offer that sort of assistance."
During his visit, Singh unveiled fresh assistance of $50 million.
India had already pledged some $500 million in aid to Kabul, making it one of Afghanistan's top donor nations.
Singh arrived in Afghanistan earlier today, the first visit to Afghanistan by an Indian premier in nearly 30 years.
Tomorrow he is expected to take part in the groundbreaking for a new Afghan parliament building, which is being built with Indian assistance.
Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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