Indian foreign secretary meets Karzai, presidential candidates in Kabul
A day after visiting the Indian consulate in Herat that faced a terror attack last week, Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh Saturday called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and both presidential candidates - Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.
Kabul/New Delhi: A day after visiting the Indian consulate in Herat that faced a terror attack last week, Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh Saturday called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and both presidential candidates - Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.
In her interactions with the Afghan leaders, "there was uniform condemnation" of the May 23 attack on the Indian consulate in Herat and they assured her that "Afghanistan is committed to ensuring full safety for the Indian embassy in Kabul and the four consulates in Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif", said an external affairs ministry statement Saturday.
"They also emphasised that whatever the outcome of the forthcoming Afghan elections and the orientation of the new leadership, friendship with India would remain a `top priority` for any new government of Afghanistan as India-Afghanistan relations are deep rooted and civilisational and will continue to be nurtured," the statement quoted them as saying.
Her visit to Afghanistan is the "first diplomatic foray outside India after the formation of a new government in India".
Foreign Secretary Singh is on a two-day visit to Afghanistan to meet all sections of the Afghan leadership.
On Friday, she spent the day in Herat and met provincial Governor Sayed Fazulllah Wahedi and thanked him for the support provided to ensure the safety of the Indian consulate in Herat and complimented the Afghan forces for their valour in thwarting the attackers.
"She surveyed the premises of the consulate and it was agreed that the consulate in Herat will resume provision of visas soon and if necessary, it would move to a more secure location at the earliest."
"Following her visit to Kandahar, Foreign Secretary Singh had stayed in Kabul Friday night and interacted with staff at India`s Embassy in Kabul, assuring them that the government of India is fully committed to working with the local government to ensure their safety and welfare.
The consulate was attacked by four heavily armed gunmen who were killed by Indian and Afghan security personnel as they tried to storm the mission in western Afghanistan on May 23.