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India will ensure that Afghanistan does not become target of extremists: Krishna

New Delhi, Tue, 01 May 2012 ANI

New Delhi, May 1 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M Krishna on Tuesday said India would ensure that Afghanistan does not become "a target for extremist forces"

At a joint media interaction with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul here, Krishna said: "We will continue to partner the Afghan Government to ensure that Afghanistan is a source of regional stability and does not become a target for extremist forces."

"We will continue our engagement in reconstruction and rehabilitation projects in alignment with the Afghan National Development Strategy," he added.

Krishna further said: "This event is also a reflection that India is unwavering in its commitment to assisting the people of Afghanistan in their endeavour to build a peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous nation."

"Let me assure you that while it is a time of change and transformation in the region, India's commitment to Afghanistan is neither 'transitory' nor in 'transition,'" he said.

"Our approach of high level political engagement and broad-based development assistance in a wide range of sectors, which have been identified by the Afghan government as priority areas for reconstruction and development, will not only continue but is set to intensify under the framework of the partnership council," he said.

"Dr Zalmai Rassoul and I reviewed with appreciation the outcomes of the first Joint Working Group on Political and Security Consultations held yesterday between the Foreign Secretary of India and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan,' he added.

Krishna further informed: "We have directed that the other three joint working groups under the partnership council on trade and economic cooperation; capacity development and education; and social, cultural, civil society and people-to-people contacts meet at an early date.

"We are hopeful that these meetings will further enhance and deepen our bilateral cooperation," he added. (ANI)

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