"Senator Kirk welcomed India's positive contribution to Afghanistan's reconstruction and described a strong US-India partnership as an important factor for Afghanistan's peace and prosperity," the Indian embassy here said in a statement. Kirk, a member of the Senate India Caucus, is known for his keen foreign policy interests and is a strong advocate of closer India-US relations.
Rao and Kirk exchanged views on bilateral relations and took positive note of the growing momentum of cooperation across a wide range of areas. Kirk, also an officer in the US Navy Reserve holding the rank of Commander, recently visited Afghanistan on a two-week tour of duty.
During his meeting with Rao, Kirk discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the common interests of India and US in the long-term peace, security and development of the war-torn country. Rao referred to India's robust development assistance to Afghanistan and New Delhi's vision for an independent sovereign, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, emerging as the hub for trade, transportation and energy linking Central and South Asia, the statement said.