Gates appreciates India's role in Afghanistan

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New Delhi, Jan 20 (ANI): Visiting U S Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday praised India's humanitarian and reconstruction work in war torn Afghanistan.

Speaking to the media here, Gates said: "The President's strategy represents a long term commitment to the Afghan people and the people of all South Asia. I express my appreciation for India's contributions to the mission and I believe India's ongoing economic development support in Afghanistan is vital."

"The scale of what we are trying to do requires many nations working in concert. Going forward, India can be an anchor for regional and global security," he added.

With Pakistan time and again raising the questions over India's role in Afghanistan, Gates felt that it was necessary for both countries to maintain transparency in each other's activities in that country.

India is the largest regional investor in Afghanistan, having committed more than 2.2 billion US dollars for reconstruction purposes.

Earlier, the Afghan Foreign Ministry had described India as a brother country.

India's support and collaboration extends to rebuilding of air links, power plants and investing in health and education sectors as well as helping to train Afghan civil servants, diplomats and police.

India also seeks to development of supply lines of electricity, oil and natural gas. (ANI)

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