Modi assures Afghanistan of India’s continued support
He reaffirmed the pledge in a video conference at the inaugural ceremony for the Storai (Star) Palace at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) after its rehabilitation.
Almost a century old, the palace was in dilapidated condition before it was rebuilt at a cost of $7 million provided by the Indian government.
Modi renewed his promise to help bring durable peace and stability to Afghanistan. India would stand by Afghanistan through thick and thin, the prime minister vowed.
Modi said: “The rehabilitation of this palace is a reminder for those who don’t want to see Afghanistan being steered out of violence towards peace. The rehabilitation of the beautiful building is a gift from Indian to our Afghan brothers and sisters.”
He added: “The hearts of the people of the two countries beat together. Kabul and New Delhi have enjoyed friendly relations historically,” the Indian leader remarked, hoping the cooperative ties would grow further with time.
He voiced India’sconcern over the current security situation in Afghanistan, where the insurgents, supportedby outsiders, have targetcivilians and security forces on a daily basis.
“Our partnership is enduring and today’s gathering is evidence of our continued commitment to a stable Afghanistan. We want every Afghan to play a vital role in the economic development of their country,” he observed.
President Ashraf Ghani thanked India for assistance, saying Kabul-Delhi relations wound never come under strain as they remained committed to working for peace, stability, counter-terrorism and extremism.
He said it was the historic responsibility of governments to work for the peace stability of their countries, end violence and conflicts and strive for the development and happiness of their people. [
The president said those defying nature believed in bias and prejudice, and fuelledviolence. But they would find no way out of people’s wrath, Ghani remarked.
Ghani said: “We [Afghanistan and India] have decided to make our friendship abiding and utilise all our resources for the development and prosperity of our two nations.”
About the rehabilitation work, the president said Afghanistan’s history of diplomacy and foreign relations had been revived with the reconstruction of the magnificent facility.
The Storai Palace had been constructed during the government of Amir Habibullah Khan. Its walls developed cracks with the passage of time and as a result of decades of war.
Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said: “We have witnessed the historic inauguration of this building after its rehabilitation.” He called the structure a symbol of Afghanistan’s foreign policy objectives.
“The building was damaged in recent decades due the lack of proper maintenance. It has been rehabilitated with the assistance of the Indian government,” the minister said.
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