Visits Visits

PM's statement prior to his departure for Afghanistan

May 11, 2011

I will be leaving on an official visit to Afghanistan at the invitation of His Excellency President Hamid Karzai.

My visit to Afghanistan is in keeping with the healthy tradition of regular high level exchanges between our two countries. President Hamid Karzai was in India in February 2011.

India and Afghanistan enjoy a deep and abiding relationship that goes back in time and history. We are people of the same region. We cannot remain unaffected by developments in Afghanistan. We take a long-term view of our partnership with Afghanistan.

If our region has to prosper and move ahead, Afghanistan must succeed in rebuilding itself. Its people have suffered far too long. India’s commitment to assisting the people of Afghanistan is enduring and has weathered many storms. Since my last visit to Afghanistan in 2005, our cooperation has expanded significantly. Today, our development assistance commitment to Afghanistan is about US $ 1.5 billion. What is heartening is the support it enjoys among the Afghan people.

I look forward to wide ranging discussions with President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan leadership on ways to advance our partnership to a new level in the coming years. We will also exchange views on developments in the region and our common fight against the scourge of terrorism. The quest of the Afghan people for peace, stability and reconciliation needs the full support of all countries in the region and the international community.

New Delhi
May 11, 2011



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