Abdali defends boycott of SAARC summit in Islamabad
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali, hailing the Kabul-Delhi ties as unique and deep, on Friday said his country would soon open a consulate in the southern city of Hyderabad.
“We are going to open a consulate in Hyderabad which will not only focus on trade and business, but this is going to be a step forward towards expansion of our ties at all levels,” the Afghan diplomat was quoted as saying by the Indian media.
Bilateral relations in the fields of education, commerce, people-to-people contacts, culture and health would see a major boost with the opening of the consulate in Hyderabad, Abdali hoped while speaking on the sidelines of an interactive meeting.
After the opening of the diplomatic mission, he indicated, the two governments would encourage airlines to operate flights between Kabul and Hyderabad. Currently, there are direct flights only between the capitals of the two nations.
The Press Trust of India quoted the ambassador as calling Afghanistan and India strategic partners. He said New Delhi would host a major business summit to lure investment into the strategic Chabahar port in Iran.
The envoy also defended Kabul’s decision to boycott the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, scheduled to be held in Islamabad. He believed move would force non-cooperating members to pursue peace and partnership.
“Afghanistan and India are at the forefront of supporting SAARC. The recent decision to boycott the summit in Islamabad by India, Afghanistan and others is aimed at finding better ways to improve SAARC,” Abdali remarked.
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