Krishna meets Afghan President Karzai

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Kabul, Jul 19 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who reached Kabul on a two-day visit today, met Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and his National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta.

During the meeting with Afghanistan leadership, Krishna had likely discussed India's ongoing reconstruction works in the country and New Delhi's concerns over the contentious Taliban reconciliation plan at the Kabul Conference.

India has strongly opposed any distinction between the good Taliban and bad Taliban and has invested 1.3 billion dollars in multifarious socio-economic reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.

Krishna is also expected to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday on the sidelines of the international conference that is being attended by foreign ministers and representatives of 70 countries and organisations.

This will be the largest gathering of international leaders in Afghanistan since the 1970s.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and other senior officials of the external affairs ministry are accompanying Krishna.

Afghanistan, according to sources, is at a "critical turning point", and the conference will deliberate on an Afghan government-led plan to improve security, ensure good governance and crack down on corruption that has plagued the country.

Afghan President Karzai is expected to announce a timetable for a "conditions-based and phased transition."

According to The Independent, the document reveals that the withdrawal of NATO troops is to begin within months.

By 2014, it is expected that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) would take charge of military operations in the country. By Mrityunjay Singh (ANI)

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