PM Modi extends congratulations to new Afghan President

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday extended his congratulations to Afghanistan President Dr Ashraf Ghani, who was elected to the office on September 21.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday extended his congratulations to Afghanistan President Dr Ashraf Ghani, who was elected to the office on September 21.

In a telephonic conversation, Prime Minister Modi lauded President Ghani's wisdom and statesmanship, and his commitment to unity, peace and progress in Afghanistan, which had enabled the formation of a broad-based inclusive government and a peaceful political transition. He paid tribute to the people and the political leaders of Afghanistan for their faith in democracy and will to prevail over violence and terrorism.

Prime Minister Modi also expressed confidence that President Ghani's expertise, global experience and grassroots knowledge, borne out of travel to every district of Afghanistan, will help him implement his bold agenda of economic reforms and development in Afghanistan. He also mentioned that President Ghani's experience will be beneficial for India and the region.

Conveying India's support as a friend and a partner, Prime Minister Modi also assured President Ghani that India would be with Afghanistan at every step on the way, as his government moves forward in its efforts to build a strong, stable, peaceful, democratic, inclusive and prosperous nation.

Prime Minister Modi also noted that India's relations with Afghanistan have been forged by ancient cultural links and timeless bonds of mutual affection and admiration, which had grown deeper in recent years as the Afghan people have strived to rebuild their lives and their nation.

President Ghani conveyed his deep sense of appreciation for Prime Minister Modi's congratulations. He described India as the foundation of Afghanistan's diplomacy and economic strategy and complimented Prime Minister on his electoral success and his development vision, which would be beneficial for Afghanistan and the entire region.

President Ghani also accepted Prime Minister Modi's invitation to visit India at the earliest opportunities and also suggested immediate commencement of dialogue between the two governments, including between their national security advisors and economic advisors.

Bilaterally, India has played a significant role in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan. India's extensive developmental assistance programme, which now stands at around USD 2 billion, is a strong signal of its abiding commitment to peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan during this critical period of security and governance transition.

This makes India one of the leading donor nations to Afghanistan , and by far the largest from among the regional countries.

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