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Joint Statement on the occasion of the State Visit by President of Afghanistan His Excellency Mr. Hamid Karzai

November 12, 2012

  1. At the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, President of the Republic of India, His Excellency Mr. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, paid a state visit to India from November 9-13, 2012. During the visit to Mumbai, the President of Afghanistan attended a Business Meet on November 10, 2012 where leading business leaders of India participated. He delivered the prestigious Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Memorial lecture organized by the Indian Council of Cultural relations (ICCR) in New Delhi on November 12, 2012. A high-level delegation comprising Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, National Security Advisor, Mr. Anwar Ulhaq Ahady, Minister of Commerce and Industries, Mr. Wahidullah Shahrani, Minister of Mines, and Mr. Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, Minister of Information and Culture accompanied the President.
  2. After a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi, the President of Afghanistan visited Raj Ghat to pay homage to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Minister of External Affairs, Shri Salman Khurshid, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Smt. Sushma Swaraj and the Chairperson UPA, Smt. Sonia Gandhi called on the President of Afghanistan. The President of India hosted a banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary.
  3. Afghanistan and India have had a long shared history going back over millennia. The two countries are natural strategic partners by virtue of geography and a common vision of peace and cooperation in the region. The two countries have built up extensive, mutually beneficial relations in all fields. The strong ties have been manifested in recent times in the form of a robust Strategic Partnership Agreement signed between the two countries in October 2011.
  4. The President of Afghanistan held delegation-level discussions with Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest and relevance. The talks between President Karzai and Indian leaders were held in an extremely warm, cordial and friendly atmosphere reflective of the special and unique relationship between the two countries. The Prime Minister assured the President of Afghanistan of India's support as Afghanistan completes the crucial period of transition by 2014 and, noting the timeless nature of India-Afghanistan relations, reiterated the continuation of India’s support in the period beyond transition.
  5. While reviewing their relationship, the two leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress of implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the convening of the first meeting of the Partnership Council on May 1, 2012. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the Agreement in all areas, including the expansion of political, security, economic and cultural cooperation. The two sides noted that the Strategic Partnership Agreement underlines the multifaceted ties between two countries and has drawn its inspiration and strength from the warmth and resilience of our historical people-to-people ties.
  6. The two sides welcomed the steps taken towards the promotion of business links between Afghanistan and India, and were supportive of Indian efforts at encouraging investment in Afghanistan through the Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan, held in Delhi on June 28, 2012. The Delhi Investment Summit helped attract regional and international attention towards investment in Afghanistan and its potential in providing economic development and stability to Afghanistan during the transition period. They felt there were prospects for enhanced cooperation among all countries of the region in helping Afghanistan build a better future through harnessing of its natural resources.
  7. The two sides also reviewed the implementation of Indian development and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan and were appreciative of their contribution to the development of Afghanistan. They also encouraged Indian investments in Afghanistan to help Afghanistan realize its economic potential to both countries' mutual advantage.
  8. Both sides acknowledged the importance of regional cooperation and connectivity which could assist in Afghanistan’s political and economic progress. They welcomed the Indian stewardship of the two commercial Confidence Building Measures under the Istanbul process that seeks to inspire new trust and confidence in the region by acknowledging and capitalizing on Afghanistan's position at the 'Heart of Asia'. The two sides also discussed the potential of the Chahbahar port in helping expand trade and transit opportunities and providing alternative transport routes for the prosperity and development of Afghanistan and the region.
  9. The two leaders expressed severe condemnation of terrorism and extremism that had been inflicted on their countries from beyond their borders. The President and Prime Minister offered their condolences over the killings of civilians and troops in Afghanistan, most recently the suicide bomb blast at a mosque on the day of Eid al Adha, killing more than 40 people and injuring scores of others, and expressed their determination to work with the international community to combat the forces of terrorism posing a threat to the region. They also stressed on the need to deal firmly with the safe havens for terrorists groups that continue to exist outside Afghanistan's borders.
  10. Both sides reiterated abiding faith in and commitment to democracy, development and peace. They shared the confidence that cooperation at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels will enable the two countries to realize their developmental aspirations, and contribute to peace, prosperity and security in the region.
  11. The two sides signed the following documents during the visit: (i) Memorandum of Understanding on Small Development Projects (SDPs) up to US $ 100 million; (ii) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of development of Coal Mineral Resources; (iii) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Fertilizer; (iv) Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Youth Affairs.
  12. The President of Afghanistan thanked the President of India for the warmth, cordiality and gracious hospitality extended to him and members of his delegation during their stay in India.
New Delhi
November 12, 2012


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