India and Afghanistan on February 1, 2016 inked a pact for visa-free travel by their diplomats. The agreement was signed after Afghan Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Abdullah Abdullah’s meeting with Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi during which they discussed key bilateral and regional issues, including security cooperation. Both the leaders also discussed the role of international community to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and to defeat the challenge of terrorism. They also shared views on further deepening the India-Afghanistan relationship in the bilateral and regional contexts and also to re-energise the strategic partnership between the two countries. During the meeting Mr. Abdullah Abdullah thanked PM Mr. Modi for consistent assistance from India in various spheres, including defence and for meeting his country’s developmental needs. India had given three multi-role Mi-35 helicopters to Afghanistan in December 2015 for
combating terrorism in the war-torn country.
Later, the visiting leader held talks with External Affairs Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj during which they discussed the security situation, Afghan peace process, internal political situation in the strife- ravaged country as also the regional security situation. The two leaders also discussed the role of international community to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and to defeat the challenge of terrorism. Ms. Swaraj informed the Afghan Chief Executive about India’s efforts to expedite implementation of as many as 92 small developmental projects in Afghanistan that are nearing completion. The Afghan leader’s visit comes nearly a month after PM Mr. Modi’s trip to Kabul during which he inaugurated the new Afghan Parliament building, constructed with India’s aid. Opening the parliament building in Kabul, Mr. Modi had pledged India’s support for the Afghan government and urged regional powers to work together to foster peace.
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