Sushma Swaraj inaugurates new Indian Embassy building in Kabul

Sushma Swaraj
Kabul, Sept 10: A new USD 40 million Indian Embassy building was inaugurated today by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the heart of Afghan capital here which features an integrated security system.

The building is spread over an area of 5 acres and has been constructed at the cost of USD 40 million. The total area of the building is 8,300 square metre. The building at Wazir Akbar Khan close to the Afghan Foreign Ministry.

Foundation stone of the building was laid by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 and the actual work started in 2009. The building, constructed by Central Public Works Department (CPWD), has a modern integrated security system which has been installed by Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL). The inauguration ceremony was attended by Afghan Foreign Minister Zarar Osmani and a number of foreign diplomats.

"This is critical decade of transformation for Afghanistan. India will always be Afghanistan's first strategic partner and we will always share Afghan people's vision of a strong, independent, united and prosperous Afghanistan for which so many Afghans sacrificed so much," Swaraj said.

"India is prepared to do whatever is possible, whichever capabilities and means, to work with Afghan government and its people to realise this vision.

"I would like to thank the Afghan people for consistently praising our work in Afghanistan amongst the best and most effective aid and humanitarian programmes. This has always been a source of great encouragement and inspiration for us," the Minister said.

India has invested USD two billion in aid and reconstruction and trained scores of Afghan officers. "Before coming here for the inauguration, I also spent some time remembering our officials and personnel who laid down their lives during targeted terrorist attacks against our diplomatic premises and developmental projects," she said.

The Indian Embassy here was attacked twice in 2008 and 2009 that left 75 people dead. "I am deeply grateful to valiant personnel of Afghan security forces who continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our premises and personnel remain safe,"

Swaraj said. "I recognise the contribution of our security forces guarding our installation and personnel," she said. "India is here to stay," she added.


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