Downplaying the Afghan Taliban's [ Images ] recent praise of India [ Images ] in not kowtowing to the West, the US State Department has said the Obama [ Images ] administration is pleased with the support that New Delhi [ Images ] is giving to strengthen the security, stability, prosperity of Afghanistan.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland also welcomed the economic support that New Delhi is giving; and the support that it is giving to the Afghan National Security Forces, including in police training.
"India has joined us in calling for Afghan-Afghan reconciliation and a process to do that. I'm not aware that anybody has asked India to play a direct role in that," Nuland said.
Nuland further said that India is playing a huge role some two billion dollars worth of investment.
"We're also encouraged by the East-West Road Project that India is sponsoring, which we think can play a strong role in increasing trade and investment across the region. We've encouraged the police training program. So, all of these things, are good steps and they help knit the region together in a democratic direction," the spokesperson said.
Nuland also maintained that the recent troop surge effort undertaken by the United States has resulted in manifest improvements in the security situation in Afghanistan.
"Now, we're in the process of turning many of those areas over to Afghan leadership, in line with the 2014 process," she added.
Commenting on whether the Taliban hold over the south was still firm, as has been reported in the media from time to time, Nuland said, "Well, we're still having some skirmishes in the south, but overall security has improved greatly in the south. And the Afghans are in far better security control in much of the south as compared to two years ago, if you will."