US encourages India’s involvement in Afghanistan

Washington: The US encourages India’s active involvement in Afghanistan and the key role it plays in promoting political stability and economic prosperity in the war-ravaged country, a senior American official has said.

“We certainly do appreciate the support that India’s given for the people and the government of Afghanistan including trade ties, security, development assistance, and India’s role in promoting a stable and prosperous region,” said Mark Toner, State Department Deputy Spokesman.

“I think that’s ultimately what we would always encourage in terms of India’s involvement is that, it’s good for the region, it’s good for the prosperity of the region, it’s good for the economy of the region, and good for the political stability of the region,” Toner said in response to a question.

Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Rick Olson was in New Delhi last week to meet with the Indian government as well as civil society leaders and discuss a range of issues including the support for the government of Afghanistan and security forces, as well as the Afghan-led Afghan Army peace process, he said.

The visit was an opportunity for US officials to express appreciation for India’s support for the people and government of Afghanistan -including trade ties, security and development assistance – as well as India’s key role in promoting a more stable and prosperous region, a senior official said.

India has assured all possible help to Afghanistan in achieving its vision of an independent and prosperous nation. “India will always be Afghanistan’s first strategic partner. And we will always share the Afghan people’s vision of a strong, independent, united and prosperous Afghanistan for which so many Afghans sacrificed so much,” External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had said in her speech during the inauguration of a new USD 40-million Indian embassy building in Kabul.

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