President Ghani asks India to help in rebuilding areas affected by recent avalanches

Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar called on President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul on Wednesday as part of his 'SAARC Yatra' aimed at bolstering India's ties with SAARC member countries.

Mr. Jaishankar flew to Kabul from Islamabad and was received at the airport byIndian High Commissioner to Afghanistan, Amar Sinha.

On a snowy day, he first called on Dr. Abdullah and discussed important regional and bilateral issues.

During his meeting with President Ghani, Mr. Jaishankar emphasized importance of improving bilateral ties between the two traditional allies.

He said India was pleased with the latest political developments in Afghanistan and would always stand with the people of Afghanistan, a statement issued by presidential palace stated.

President Ghani stressed that India, as a long-time friend and neighbor, enjoys special pace in Afghanistan’s foreign policy and emphasized on enhancing and improving the ties further

Mr. Jaishankar, who was recently appointed India’s new Foreign Secretary, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to help and assist Afghan government, especially in the mining sector.

He also extended condolences on behalf of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the people of Afghanistan on the loss of lives in recent avalanches and offered support from the government of India.

Prime Minister Modi had earlier written to President Ghani to condole the loss of lives in avalanches and offered help in rescue and relief efforts.

President Ghani stressed that India, as a long-time friend and neighbor, enjoys special pace in Afghanistan’s foreign policy and emphasized onenhancing and improving the ties further.

He said the nature of war and terrorism has changed as it threatens the region and world as a whole now.He called for coordinated efforts among regional countries to annihilate terrorism.

President Ghani said the region is transforming and India has to play an important role in its economic development and integration.

Calling the recent avalanches a “catastrophe”, President Ghani said India has good experience in disaster management and it can assist Afghanistan in rebuilding the affected areas.

On behalf the Indian government, Mr.Jaishankar formally extended an invitation from Indian Prime Minister to President Ghani to visit India.

Mr. Jaishankar, who started his trip on Sunday with Bhutan, visited Bangladesh and Pakistan, and rounded up the first leg of his “SAARC Yatra” with Afghanistan.

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