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Delhi-Kabul IA flight from Mar 27

February 24, 2005 19:12 IST

After a 16-year gap, Indian Airlines will start operating on the Delhi-Kabul sector from March 27 this year giving an impetus to the new momentum in relations between India and Afghanistan.

During extensive talks with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai in New Delhi on Thursday Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reinforced India's commitment to providing economic and technical assistance for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

Two accords on enhancing cooperation in civil aviation and media and information were signed in the presence of Karzai and Singh.

The last Indian Airlines flight to Kabul was in 1989 when it was operating twice a week.

The memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of civil aviation signed by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Afghan Transport Minister Enayatullah Qasemi is aimed at building capacity and strengthening institutional structure of Afghanistan's civil aviation sector, external affairs ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters.

This would include training in areas of airport management, air traffic control, navigational aids etc, including safety and maintenance of aircraft.

India has gifted three Airbus with essential spare parts to the Ariana Afghan Airlines at a cost of $13.7 million. The first two aircraft were handed over in September and December, 2002 and the third aircraft in March, 2003.

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