India, Afghanistan discuss bilateral, regional issues

New Delhi [India], Mar. 14 (ANI): Afghanistan's Deputy Prime Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai and Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Tuesday met to discuss bilateral and regional issues between the two Asian countries.

"Honored to be hosted by Foreign Secretary HE S. Jaishankar at his home for a stimulating conversation covering bilateral and regional issues," Hekmat tweeted.

Jaishankar, earlier in the month had discussed terrorism, Asia-Pacific and Afghanistan with senior officials of the Donald Trump administration during his recent U.S. visit.

India and Afghanistan have a strong relationship based on historical and cultural links.

In recent past, Indo-Afghan relations have been further strengthened by the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) signed between the two countries in 2011. As Afghanistan was undergoing three simultaneous political, security and economic transitions in 2016, India had allayed its fears about its future by making a long-term commitment to the security and development of Afghanistan.

SPA between the two sides, inter alia, provides for assistance to help rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure and institutions, education and technical assistance to re-build indigenous Afghan capacity in different areas, encouraging investment in Afghanistan's natural resources, providing duty free access to the Indian market for Afghanistan's exports support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, broad-based and inclusive process of peace and reconciliation, and advocating the need for a sustained and long-term commitment to Afghanistan by the international community. (ANI)

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