Afghanistan, India sign economic cooperation pacts
By Sadaf Shinwari - Mon Nov 12, 4:12 pm
Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Monday met with the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi and signed four agreements in diverse areas, including mines, youth affairs, small development projects and fertilizers.
India committed a $ 2 billion development and infrastructure assistance to Afghanistan. The two countries decided to work on an economic partnership agreement. India will also help with research and scientific assistance to Afghanistan.
The agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
Later addressing a joint press conference, Dr. Singh said both sides have agreed to further intensify and deepen bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and natural resources.
“We have expanded our programmes for capacity-building, institution-building and human resource development. With the signing of the memorandum of understanding today, we will launch the third phase of Small Development Projects to address the socio-economic needs of people throughout Afghanistan,” he said.
“I expressed to President Karzai our belief that sustained international support and cooperation in all respects, including in combating terrorism emanating from the neighbourhood, will help Afghanistan meet these challenges. President Karzai’s own enlightened leadership will play a big part in this effort,” the prime minister said.
Describing Dr Singh as “a good friend of Afghanistan,” Mr Karzai said, “relations between Afghanistan and India go back centuries, and we have built on that foundation by signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement last year.” The two countries, traditionally close trading partners, had last year signed a strategic partnership agreement to deepen friendly ties and boost trade, security and cultural links.
Singh and Karzai also discussed strategic partnership agreement, troops training, regional situation and ties with Pakistan. Karzai on Monday got a grand reception in New Delhi.