Narendra Modi calls new Afghan Prez Ghani; says India would stand by you

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Narendra Modi calls new Afghan Prez
New Delhi, Oct 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated Afghanistan's new President Ashraf Ghani and assured him that India would stand with him, as a friend and a partner, at every step as his government builds a strong and peaceful Afghanistan.

On his part, Ghani, during the telephonic conversation with Modi, described India as the "foundation of Afghanistan's diplomacy and economic strategy" and suggested immediate commencement of dialogue between the two governments, including between their national security advisors and economic advisors.

The Prime Minister lauded President Ghani's "wisdom and statesmanship, and his commitment to unity, peace and progress in Afghanistan, which had enabled the formation of a broad- based and inclusive government and a peaceful political transition" and mentioned that his experience will be beneficial for India and the region.

"Prime Minister Modi conveyed that India will stand with him, as a friend and a partner, at every step on the way as his government moves forward in its efforts to build a strong, stable, peaceful, democratic, inclusive and prosperous nation," according to an official release here.

Appreciating the people and the political leaders of Afghanistan for their faith in democracy and will to prevail over violence and terrorism, Modi expressed confidence that Ghani's expertise, global experience and grassroots knowledge, borne out of travel to every district of Afghanistan, will help him implement his bold agenda of economic reforms and development in Afghanistan.

President Ghani conveyed his deep sense of appreciation for Prime Minister's letter of congratulations and described India as the "foundation of Afghanistan's diplomacy and economic strategy".

Ghani complimented Modi on his electoral success and his development vision, which he said would be beneficial for Afghanistan and the entire region.

On his part, Modi noted that India's relations with Afghanistan have been forged by ancient cultural links and timeless bonds of mutual affection and admiration, which had grown deeper in recent years as the Afghan people have strived to rebuild their lives and their nation.

Ghani also accepted the Prime Minister's invitation to visit India at the earliest opportunity. In a first transition of power since Hamid Karzai became president after 2001 US-led invasion, Ghani was sworn in as president of Afghanistan on September 29.

PTI

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