India assures Afghanistan of support beyond transition period
India today assured Afghanistan its support as the country completes the crucial period of transition by 2014 and said it would continue the same in the period beyond transition.
In a joint statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai here, the two countries also expressed their resolve to continue their fight against terrorism, and stressed on the need to deal firmly with the safe havens for terrorist groups that continue to exist outside Afghanistan's borders.
While reviewing their relationship, the two leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress of implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the convening of the first meeting of the Partnership Council on May 1, 2012.
They reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the Agreement in all areas, including the expansion of political, security, economic and cultural cooperation.
"The two sides noted that the Strategic Partnership Agreement underlines the multifaceted ties between two countries and has drawn its inspiration and strength from the warmth and resilience of our historical people-to-people ties," the Joint Statement said.
Afghanistan leader expressed its appreciation of the efforts made by India in encouraging investment in his country through the Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan, held in June 28 last year.
"The Delhi Investment Summit helped attract regional and international attention towards investment in Afghanistan and its potential in providing economic development and stability to Afghanistan during the transition period.
"They felt there were prospects for enhanced cooperation among all countries of the region in helping Afghanistan build a better future through harnessing of its natural resources," the statement said.
The two sides also reviewed the implementation of Indian development and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan and were appreciative of their contribution to the development of Afghanistan.
They also discussed the potential of the Chahbahar port in helping expand trade and transit opportunities and providing alternative transport routes for the prosperity and development of Afghanistan and the region.