We back your efforts to usher in peace, Krishna tells Karzai
Afghanistan on Monday night assured India that it would take all possible steps to ensure the safety and security of Indians engaged in development work.
On its part, India expressed full support for President Hamid Karzai's efforts to usher in peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, which was witnessing terror attacks by the Taliban.
The message was conveyed by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna during a 45-minute meeting with Mr. Karzai at the Presidential Palace here.
Mr. Krishna is here to attend the International Conference on Afghanistan on Tuesday.
External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said, “The meeting was very useful and cordial.” The two sides had extensive exchange of views on bilateral ties and issues of common interests.
Later, Mr. Krishna met Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta and sensitised him to the security challenges faced by Indians in Afghanistan, informed sources said.
Dr. Spanta told Mr. Krishna that Kabul would take all possible steps to ensure the security of “Indian guests,” who were playing an important role in the country's capacity building, the sources said.
The assurance assumes significance in the wake of recent attacks by the Taliban on Indians. Seven Indians were killed on February 26 when Taliban attackers stormed guest houses in central Kabul, frequented by Indians.
The Indian Embassy in Kabul was attacked by the Taliban in July 2008 and in October 2009. Notwithstanding the attacks, India has been maintaining that it will continue to carry out development works in Afghanistan.
Mr. Krishna conveyed the greetings from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the people of India to Mr. Karzai.
Earlier, welcoming Mr. Krishna, Mr. Karzai said: “Warm welcome to you my friend” and the two also talked about the progress of monsoon in India.
The Tuesday's conference, which will be attended by nearly 60 world leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will discuss Afghanistan's future and chart out its security and developmental needs.
The meeting is takings place amid a spurt in suicide bombings and attacks by the Taliban on the U.S.-led NATO forces, which suffered the deadliest single month in June when 79 soldiers died.