India reaffirms commitment to rebuilding, reconstruction of Afghanistan

GENEVA: India on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to the rebuilding and reconstruction of Afghanistan even as New Delhi reiterated its development assistance commitment of over USD 3 billion for the war-torn country.

India’s renewed commitment to Afghanistan was enunciated by Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh at the Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan in Geneva to evaluate and strategise on developmental policy achievements during the ‘transformation decade’ (2015-24 for the country, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Expressing India’s support for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan, Singh also enunciated New Delhi’s perspective on the development cooperation assistance to Afghanistan keeping the priorities of the people of Afghanistan at its centre.

In his address at the conference, Singh asserted India’s commitment to the rebuilding and reconstruction of Afghanistan and also reiterated New Delhi’s development assistance commitment of over USD 3 billion to Afghanistan in consonance with Kabul’s priorities under its National Peace and Development Framework.

On the margins of the Geneva conference, Singh separately called on Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

He also held bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of Norway and Hungary. India also participated in the side meeting on the ‘Role of Regional Partners of Afghanistan’ on Tuesday.

Singh, on Tuesday, had participated in the high-level closed door dinner on ‘Peace in Afghanistan’ jointly organised by the Afghan government and the UN.

He also expressed India’s support in building a united, stable, secure, inclusive, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan and reiterated that peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan have to be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

“The MoS stated that for enduring peace and stability, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries need to be eliminated and there is an imperative need for any political settlement to be free of external influence,” the MEA statement said.

A restricted breakfast meeting on Peace in Afghanistan was also jointly organised by the Afghan government of and the UN on Wednesday.

In the breakfast meeting, Singh conveyed India’s support to efforts of the Afghan government in the peace and reconciliation process and the need for firm action by the international community against those who breed, support, sustain and sponsor terror and violence, the statement added.

At the conclusion of the Ministerial Conference, the Geneva Communique entitled ‘Securing Afghanistan’s Future: Peace, Self-Reliance and Connectivity’ along with the Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework document on deliverables was also adopted.