Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in Ufa where the two leaders are understood to have discussed Afghanistan’s security situation and India’s assistance in reconstruction efforts in the war-torn country.
Significantly, this is a second meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Afghan President Ghani in last three months. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Ufa, Russia. Their meeting was held shortly after the delegation-level talks between PM Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“India-Afghanistan ties being discussed by President @ashrafghani & PM @narendramodi,” the Prime Minister’s Office wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
“And the neighbourhood engagement continues. PM @narendramodi with President @ashrafghani of Afghanistan,” Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for External Affairs Ministry also tweeted.
The two leaders are understood to have discussed the security situation in Afghanistan, particularly in the context of post-2014 when America pulled out most of its forces from there.
The status of Indian assistance to Afghanistan, which mostly confines to humanitarian and social areas, was also reviewed.
Ghani had visited New Delhi early this year in April where PM Modi had assured him that India would walk shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Afghanistan in a “mission of global importance”. The Prime Minister had also said that India’s assistance to Afghanistan was an enduring commitment and not limited to the period of transition or the decade of transformation.
“The relationship between India and Afghanistan is not just between two countries or governments. It is a timeless link of human hearts… The partnership has blossomed despite barriers of geography and hurdles of politics,” PM Modi had said.
India has so far invested over USD 2 billion in several projects including infrastructure, health, education and social sectors for reconstruction of Afghanistan.
(With inputs from the PTI)