New Delhi, Jan.13: India has announced that it will gift 250,000 metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan to help that country tide over its current food crisis. The announcement was made through a joint statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
The eight-point statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said: "Prime Minister Singh further conveyed that in order to help the fraternal people of Afghanistan in tiding over their current food crisis, India will gift Afghanistan 250,000 metric tonnes of wheat. The shipment will be effected immediately, as soon as the Government of Afghanistan has worked out its transportation arrangements."
The statement also said that President Karzai expressed Afghanistan"s solidarity with the Government and people of India in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attack. It further added that the leaders have called for the full compliance with bilateral, multilateral and international obligations of States to prevent terrorism in any manner originating from territories under their control since terrorism emanates from the sanctuaries and training camps and the sustenance and support received by the terrorist groups.
They also reviewed their robust, strategic partnership,and expressed satisfaction at the progress in bilateral development and reconstruction projects in all parts of Afghanistan. Prime Minister Singh informed President Karzai that, following the completion of the road from Zaranj to Delaram in South-western Afghanistan, a second major infrastructure project, the Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul transmission line and the sub-station at Chimtala in Northern Afghanistan, will be handed over shortly to the Government of Afghanistan.
President Karzai invited Prime Minister Singh for a State Visit to Afghanistan. The invitation was accepted with pleasure. The dates will be finalised through diplomatic channels.