India reiterates commitment to help Afghanistan become stable, prosperous nation

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Kabul, July 20 (ANI): India on Tuesday reiterated its commitment to ensure the stability, development and prosperity of Afghanistan and its people.

Addressing first-ever International Conference on Afghanistan in the presence of 69 other world leaders, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said that New Delhi looks forward to working closely with Kabul and the international community in realizing these objectives.

Describing Afghanistan as being at a crucial stage in its contemporary history and a country facing an awesome challenge of ensuring long-term stability amidst a rehabilitation and reconstruction drive, Krishna said: "India is committed to the unity, integrity and independence of Afghanistan underpinned by democracy and cohesive pluralism and free from external interference. India has contributed to these goals through our Development Partnership, which is implemented entirely in accordance with the priorities of the Afghan Government and people."

"Our assistance programs are spread all over Afghanistan and cover all sectors of development: humanitarian, infrastructural, institution and capacity building, small-scale quick gestation projects, and agriculture," he added.

"Our two countries enjoy a relationship based on history, civilization, trade and cultural exchanges and shared values and interests stretching back thousands of years. The ultimate aim of our assistance is to strengthen the capacity of the Afghan state and people to stand on their own feet in the areas of governance and services for the Afghan people," the minister said.

Lauding Kabul's determination to take full responsibility for its own development, security and governance, Krishna described it as a big step for a country that has been ravaged by war for more than three decades.

"Afghanistan's stability and economic development depend a lot on its neighbours and the region as a whole. Afghanistan's greatest economic potential perhaps resides in its immense potential as a trade, transport and energy hub, and as a bridge linking Central, West, South Asia and the Gulf. Its prosperity also depends on the consumer market of nearly 1.5 billion people in the South-Asian sub-continent," Krishna said. By Mrityunjay Singh (ANI)

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