December 14, 2013

At the invitation of the Government of India, His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is on a Working Visit to India from 12-15 December 2013. During the Delhi leg of his visit, President Hamid Karzai met with His Excellency Pranab Mukherjee, President of India and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid and National Security Advisor, Shivshankar Menon called on President Hamid Karzai.

During the bilateral talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed great pleasure at the strong and broad-based strategic partnership between India and Afghanistan and exchanged views on regional and global environment.

The two leaders spoke with warmth and satisfaction at the state of bilateral relations and, in particular, the progress in the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement.

President Karzai briefed Prime Minister on the political, security, and economic situation in Afghanistan, including the ongoing security transition in the country and Afghanistan’s relations with other countries. Prime Minister conveyed India’s confidence in the ability of the people and the government of Afghanistan to build a strong, united, stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan that also contributes to regional peace and prosperity. He reiterated India’s commitment to support Afghanistan through the transition and beyond. The two leaders also agreed to work on further strengthening regional cooperation with the aim of regional integration and development, including through the Heart of Asia process. India is hosting the next meeting of the Senior Officials of Heart of Asia on 17 January 2014.

Consistent with their shared vision of Afghanistan and peace and security in the region, Prime Minister and President Karzai affirmed their commitment to further intensify their partnership in all areas, in accordance with their Strategic Partnership Agreement. Prime Minister conveyed India’s continuing support for all-round socio-economic development of Afghanistan through promotion of business links, educational scholarships, and implementation of Indian assisted development and reconstruction projects. The two leaders also agreed to work with the Islamic Republic of Iran for development of new trade routes to facilitate trade and transit to Afghanistan and beyond.

The two leaders also agreed on deepening defence and security cooperation, including through enhancement in training and meeting the equipment and infrastructure needs of Afghanistan National Security and Defence Forces that would increase their operational capabilities and mobility. The two leaders also agreed to expand opportunities for higher military education in India for Afghan officers.

Prime Minister thanked President Karzai for the support extended by the Government of Afghanistan in safeguarding Indian Missions and personnel in Afghanistan. He conveyed deep gratitude to the Afghan security forces for thwarting the suicide attack against Indian Consulate in Jalalabad in August 2013. The two leaders reiterated their resolve to work together as well as with the international community to counter the forces of terrorism and extremism that have been affecting the two countries and threatening the entire region.

President Pranab Mukherjee hosted President Karzai to a private dinner, where the two leaders discussed bilateral, regional and international issues of common concern. President Mukherjee fondly recalled his visit to Afghanistan to inaugurate the Zaranj-Delaram Highway. President Karzai extended an invitation to President Mukherjee to visit Afghanistan.

President Karzai is accompanied by a high level delegation comprising Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zarar Ahmad Osmani, National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Acting Minister of Commerce & Industries, Mr. Shaker Kargar and other senior officials.

New Delhi

14 December 2013

 

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