India, Tajikistan to help Kabul: President

New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) India and Tajikistan are committed to helping Afghanistan in its peace process, President Pranab Mukherjee has said.

“We are committed to assist our mutual friend and neighbour Afghanistan to realise the goals and aspirations of its people, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process,” Mukherjee said.

He made the comments while hosting a banquet in honour of his Tajikistan counterpart Emomali Rahmon at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday.

Rahmon’s visit to India comes on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of India-Tajikistan diplomatic relations.

In his banquet speech, the Indian President said Rahmon’s visit bore testimony to the abiding friendship between the two nations.

Both countries desired to strengthen the defence and security co-operation in order to effectively address various concerns, he said.

“The world, and particularly our region, is, today, faced by the growing threat of terrorism.

“Both India and Tajikistan are opposed to this menace in all its forms and manifestations… For us, development and progress of our nations is of utmost importance.

“India recognises President Rahmon’s role in ensuring peace and stability in Tajikistan which has a similar salutary effect in the region,” Mukherjee said.

The President said India was grateful to Tajikistan for supporting its rightful claim to a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and its membership of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation.

India was among first countries to recognise emergence of Tajikistan on dissolution of the former Soviet Union.

Rahmon arrived here on Friday after visiting Kochi. The visiting dignitary is on a five-day visit to India from December 14.

–IANS

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