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Trilateral dialogue made good progress on economic side: Blake

September 27, 2012 11:53 IST

The first ever trilateral dialogue between India, Afghanistan and the United States made good progress on economic side in particular towards strengthening Afghan economy and regional integration, a senior US official said.

"We had some good conversations, particularly on the economic side, about how we can continue our work together to promote regional integration, to help build up the private sector in Afghanistan, to help this transition from an aid-based economy to a more trade and private sector-based economy," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake told reporters.

Senior officials from India, the United States and Afghanistan held their first ever trilateral dialogue in New York on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

While the Afghan delegation was led by the Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin; the American team was represented by the Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador, Marc Grossman and Blake.

The Indian delegation was represented by the Joint Secretary (Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iran) Y K Sinha and Joint Secretary (Americas) Jawed Ashraf.

"All sides welcomed the frank and comprehensive nature of the discussions and agreed the dialogue helps advance their shared values, interests and goals," Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations said in a statement.

The meeting was held at the mission's premises in New York.

The announcement for the trilateral meeting was announced by the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, after the India-US Strategic Dialogue in Washington early this year.

Since India is South Asia's largest economy, the US sees New Delhi as a natural partner, which is in a unique position to promote economic growth and stability there.

"Broadly speaking, we are continuing to work very closely with Afghanistan's neighbors and near neighbors in helping Afghanistan to build a sustainable economy while also supporting a successful security transition in Afghanistan," he said.

"We've spoken many times about our regional approach to Afghanistan and how we believe Afghanistan benefits when neighbors are developing regional integration projects, working together to reduce trade barriers, and investing in each other's markets," Blake added.

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