India and Afghanistan today inked a pact for visa-free travel by their diplomats following Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which they discussed key bilateral and regional issues including security cooperation.
“Sustained engagement with Afghanistan. Chief Executive Abdullah meets the Prime Minister... Promoting stronger diplomatic ties...India and Afghanistan sign agreement on visa free travel for diplomats,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
It is learnt that during the meeting Mr. Abdullah thanked 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 for combating terrorism in the war—torn country.
Later, the visiting leader held talks with External Affairs Minister 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, official sources said.
“The two leaders also discussed the role of international community to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and to defeat challenge of terrorism,” sources said.
Swaraj informed Abdullah about India’s efforts to expedite implementation of as many as 92 small developmental projects in Afghanistan that are nearing completion. The Minister also assured Abdullah of government’s help in facilitating participation of a strong Afghan contingent in the 12th SAF games to be held in Guwahati and Shillong.
The Afghan leader’s visit comes nearly a month after Mr. Modi’s trip to Kabul during which he inaugurated the new Afghan Parliament building, constructed with India’s aid.
Mr. Abdullah, who arrived here yesterday, is in India primarily to attend a conference in Jaipur on counter-terrorism organised by India Foundation in association with Sardar Patel University of Police Security and Criminal Justice. He will leave for Jaipur tomorrow.