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Biden allays concerns about Afghan pullout

Biden allays concerns about Afghan pullout

Jul 23, 2013 - 14:54

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): US Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday assuaged Indian leaders’ concerns over the exit of American troops from Afghanistaninfo-icon in 2014, when the ISAFinfo-icon combat mission is scheduled to end.

Currently on a visit to New Delhi, Biden met his Indian counterpart Hamid Ansari ahead of talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Pranab Mukherjee and a top opposition figure, the Times of India (ToI) reported.

Some Indian leaders, who have occasionally voiced fears over the post-2014 situation in Afghanistan, believe Pakistaninfo-icon will gain a lot from the foreign military pullout and find once again a foothold in the war-torn country.

Biden will also travel to India’s financial capital, Mumbai, to meet business leaders and deliver a speech on the economy, according to the newspaper. Accompanied by his spouse Jill, he arrived in New Delhi on Monday evening.

Before his trip, Biden told ToI the worldinfo-icon's two biggest democracies had a "tremendous capability to work together" but should be doing more.

"We strongly support the role India has played in Afghanistan, leveraging its economic strength to improve Afghanistan's economy," Biden said, hoping New Delhi’s aid would help ensure a stable and prosperous future for the Afghans.

He is expected to lay the groundwork for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the United States in September-October. Singh is expected to meet President Barack Obama.

PAN Monitor/mud

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