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India, US agree to hold trilateral consultations with Afghanistan

By Lalit K Jha
June 14, 2012 13:43 IST
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India and the United States have agreed to hold formal trilateral consultations with Afghanistan to explore opportunities to promote the war-torn country's development, including in areas such as agriculture, mining, energy, capacity building and infrastructure.

"We agreed to move forward with a formal trilateral consultation among our three nations -- India, Afghanistan and US," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a joint news conference with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna at the end of the Indo-US Strategic Dialogue on Wednesday.

Later, in a joint statement, the two leaders said, "They intend to explore opportunities to work together to promote Afghanistan's development, including in areas such as mining, agriculture, energy, capacity building and infrastructure."

Later this month, India for the first time is hosting an international investor's meet on Afghanistan in New Delhi.

"We very much appreciate India's commitment to help build a better future for the Afghan people: helping them with more than $ 2 billion for development; supporting the New Silk Road Initiative; hosting the investment conference; providing security, training and support," Clinton told reporters.

"I am very pleased that Afghanistan is getting this kind of encouragement and tangible support because it's in everyone's interests that Afghanistan be as secure and stable as possible," she said.

Krishna said while India's role has always been very constructive, Afghanistan falls in its larger neighbourhood, with which it has civilizational, historical and trade connections and cultural ties.

During the talks, India also raised the issue of elimination of terror safe havens in Pakistan.

"They reiterated that success in Afghanistan and regional and global security require elimination of safe havens and infrastructure for terrorism and violent extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan," said the joint statement.

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Lalit K Jha In Washington, DC
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