US, India renew support for Afghan peace drive
NEW DELHI (Pajhwok) US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have reiterated their strong commitment to supporting Afghanistan’s economy and peace initiative.
After their first round of talks on issues of bilateral and regional importance, Obama told reporters in New Delhi on Sunday: "I thank the prime minister for India’s strong counter-terrorism cooperation.
“And we have, even as America’s combat operation is over in Afghanistan, are going to continue to be strong partners for the Afghan people who have benefitted from India’s generous assistance over many years."
Flanking the American leader, Modi also mentioned Afghanistan as part of his talk with Obama. Later, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Sujatha Singh told journalists that the two leaders had discussed Afghanistan.
"The situation in Afghanistan was discussed and the fact that India has a very real interest in what is happening over there. India and the US agreed to work closely together in seeing how to support the Afghan economy and our interests in having a stable and peaceful Afghanistan."
In a joint statement after the meeting, the two leaders also stressed the importance of economic and transport connectivity between Central and South Asia and the need to promote a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan.
Reaffirming the importance of their strategic partnerships with Afghanistan, Obama and Modi asserted the importance of a sustainable, inclusive, sovereign, and democratic political order in the war-hit country.
Obama is on a three-day visit to India. On Sunday, he took salute as chief guest at India’s grand Republic Day parade in the capital.
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