Talks with India continue on equipment supply
KABUL (PAN): An Indian delegation, currently visiting Kabul, is in talks with the Afghan government on equipment supplies and exploring avenues of cooperation in this area, a media report said on Sunday.
The team of Indian military and civilian officials has arrived in Afghanistan weeks after President Hamid Karzai raised the issue of supply of lethal weapons with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a visit to New Delhi.
Last week, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said New Delhi was neither in a position nor ready to grant Kabul’s request for the supply of lethal weapons.
In an interview published on Friday, the Indian minister said: "We are going to help (Kabul) with non-lethal equipment but I don't think we are either in the position or willing to contribute lethal weapons right now."
Delhi was already supplying Afghanistan important elements of supporting equipment, including helicopters, Khurshid told a Singapore-based newspaper. “We think it is not advisable to go beyond that..."
But the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency quoted unnamed sources as saying that Indian and Afghan officials continued to discuss all aspects of equipment supplies.
"As a follow-up to the prime minister's discussions with President Karzai, a joint Defence Ministry and (foreign) MEA delegation is in Kabul to discuss all aspects regarding equipment supplies and is looking to enhance cooperation in this area," it said.
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