India supports an Afghan-led peace process
During a meeting with Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, India reiterated its "support for Afghanistan’s quest for peace and stability through a process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, inclusive and transparent and which respects the redlines agreed upon by the Government of Afghanistan and the international community,” said Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna in a statement on Saturday.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai formed the High Peace Council in September 2010 to further peace talks with Taliban groups and engage militants in a reconciliation process.
Burhanuddin Rabbani, chairman of the High Peace Council and a former president of Afghanistan, led a high-level delegation on a two-day visit to India beginning July 14.
The delegation held detailed discussions with Krishna of the external affairs ministry, called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, and met with prominent Indian scholars.
Krishna earlier told Rabbani that Afghanistan can always count on India's support for development and peace.
The visit of the High Peace Council delegation is part of ongoing high-level exchanges between India and Afghanistan, further strengthening the close relations between the two countries.
In June, India received Afghanistan Minister of Defence General Abdul Rahim Wardak, who paid a three-day visit with a high-level delegation, and Afghanistan’s first Vice President Mohammed Qasim Fahim, who visited at the invitation of Indian President Pratibha Singh Patil.
And the month before, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Afghanistan to boost bilateral ties. His visit followed Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s trip to India in February.
The two nations recently signed several pacts to boost cooperation and capacity building in various sectors.
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