H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the invitation of the Government of India paid a state visit to New Delhi from April 27 to 29 2015.

H.E. President Ghani visited India to review the status of progress in the implementation of the SPA and arrangements thereunder and to discuss with the Indian leadership further bolstering the extensive bilateral ties between the two countries.

 

H.E. President Ghani was accompanied by a group of the county’s High Ranking Officials including the First Vice President H.E. Mohammad Khan, Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Sallahudin Rabani, National Security Advisor H.E. Mohammad Hanif Hatmar, Finance Minister H.E. Mr. Eklil Hakimi, Public Health Minister H.E. Mr. Ferozudin Feroz, Minister of Commerce and Industries H.E. Mr. Humoyoun Rasa, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock H.E. Mr. Assadullah Zameer, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs H.E. Ms. Nasrin Uryakhel, Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi and a number of senior officials and senior advisers.

Soon after his arrival at Palam Airport, when he was received by a number Indian senior officials, Ambassador Abdali a number of diplomats, H.E. President visited the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi.  H.E. President inaugurated the newly renovated building of the embassy and then laid the foundation stone of a new facilities building.

Then the Afghan President met with the Afghan diplomats.  The Afghan Ambassador briefed H.E. President Ghani about the activities of the Afghan mission in New Delhi as well as the state of progress in implementation of bilateral arrangements in political, economic and cultural spheres.

Subsequently, H.E. President Ghani met with the India-based dignitaries including representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu community and other representatives of the Afghan communities in different Indian states. Following the meeting, H.E. President Ghani met with representatives of Afghan students from different universities in Delhi.  In both meetings the Afghan President H.E. Ghani interacted with participants and discussed issues of interest and concern.

The official engagement of H.E. President Ghani started on April 28 with a ceremonial reception which took place at Rashtrapati Bhavan on April 29.  After the ceremony the Afghan President paid tribute to freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.  The Afghan President showered flower petals on Gandhi’s memorial.

After the vist to Rajghat, Smt. Sushma Swaraj Honorable Minister of External Affairs of India called upon H.E. President Ghani at the latter’s residence. The two sides discussed and exchanged views on various issues including the strengthening of the two countries’ bilateral ties.

Later that day, H.E. President Ghani met with India’s Prime Minister H.E. Narendra Modi at his office in Hyderabad House.

Recalling the strong historical relations between the two countries, the two sides in this meeting discussed a wide range of issues of shared interest, including cooperation in the areas of mutual importance; and the current situation in the region.

The two sides also recalled the recent natural disaster in Nepal describing it as a shared grief for the entire region which remind all the SAARC countries of the importance of cooperation in the area of disaster management to prevent the loss of lives as a result of such natural occurrences.

In the afternoon of that day, H.E. President Ghani and Prime Minister Modi jointly addressed a press conference where the two sides spoke about the visit and Indo- Afghan bilateral relations, and addressed questions asked by the press representatives present in the conference.

H.E. Hamed Ansari Vice President of India called upon H.E. President Ghani at his residence where the two sides discussed a number of issues including cooperation in various areas including joint effort in counter-terrorism and the increasing concern of radicalism in the region.

In the evening of April 28, H.E. President Ghani gave a lecture at ICWA covering Afghanistan’s place in the region, challenges and opportunities.  The Afghan President talked about the new ecology of terror focusing on the formation of new terrorist networks and the economic opportunities laying in the potentials of Afghanistan to be unlocked. He emphasized that realizing the idea of ‘breakfast in Delhi, lunch in Peshwar ad dinner in Kabul’ is feasible if the countries in the region work in a concerted manner.

Later that evening, the Afghan President met his Indian counterpart H.E. Pranab Mukerjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The Afghan and India presidents discussed issues related to economic cooperation including enhanced trade between the two countries.

H.E. President Ghani expressed appreciation for the warm hospitality extended to him and his accompanying delegation and for the country’s assistance over the past years.

H.E. Pranab Mukerjee hosted a banqueting dinner for his Afghan counterpart and his accompanying delegation.

On the second day of his official engagement H.E. President Ghani addressed a media interaction addressing a group of prominent journalists.  The Afghan President spoke about the official visit, Afghanistan’s current situation, the status of progress in the agreed bilateral arrangements, as well as regional common challenges and the available opportunities.

Later in the morning of that day, H.E. President Ghani attended a business meeting organized by FICCI and ASSOCHAM.

The Afghan President spoke about the available opportunities afforded by the geo-strategic importance of Afghanistan, encouraging Indian businesses to invest in the many areas of the country.

H.E. President Ghani described Afghanistan as ‘a roundabout’ liking regions to facilitate economic connectivity and integration.

H.E. President Ghani said that Afghan Government sees Indian investors as the country’s partners in transforming from a country in the war shadow to a hub serving as a ‘roundabout’ in the region.

The Afghan President spoke about the rich natural resources of the country highlighting the generating capacity of energy which is available for investment.

Encouraging the Indian investors to engage in the projects of the country, the Afghan President spoke about the incentives in place for them.  He also assured them of relaxed visa regime for Indian companies.

The Afghan President also separately met with the President of FICCI Dr. Jyotsna Suri and the President of CII Mr. Deepak Amitabh who called upon him at his residence.

A number of the high officials accompanying the Afghan President met with their Indian counterparts and discussed status of progress in the bilateral arrangements and discussed ways of enhancing cooperation between their respective authorities.

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