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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 21.08.2013

Mr. Karim Khalili, Second Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (August 21, 2013).

Welcoming Mr. Khalili, the President thanked the Government of Afghanistan, its security services and in particular the police personnel in Jalalabad for the valour and dedication they showed in thwarting the suicide attack against Indian Consulate on August 3, 2013. He said it is unfortunate that innocent children and civilians were killed in the incident. India will provide every possible assistance to help the victims.

The President said India considers a sovereign, independent, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan to be in India’s strategic interest. India is committed to the Strategic Partnership Agreement and to assisting Afghanistan in the critical period of transition, development and nation building. India is committed to Afghanistan at the political and strategic level well beyond 2014 when international forces are scheduled to depart. He also said India supports an all-Afghan owned, Afghan led and Afghan controlled reconciliation process.

The President said Afghanistan has the potential to be a hub for regional trade, transport and energy corridors and a land of opportunity which can contribute to regional economic growth. Indian companies are interested in bidding for copper, gold, oil and gas deposits in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Vice President warmly reciprocated the President’s words and said relations between Afghanistan and India are of strategic importance and the friendship between the two countries will always remain strong. He expressed gratitude for the assistance extended by India to Afghanistan and invited Indian companies to invest in Afghanistan, especially in the mining sector.

This release issued at 1530 hrs