NATIONAL

Modi to visit Kabul: Afghan Minister

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to travel to Kabul soon on his first official visit to Afghanistan. Confirming the planned visit, Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Hekmat Khalil Karzai said at a discussion in a think tank that preparation and requirements for the visit were discussed with Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and other Indian officials on Tuesday.

Mr. Karzai, who is in India for an extensive bilateral discussion, said Afghanistan wished an early “operationalisation of the strategic partnership” with India. “During my meeting with Indian officials on Tuesday, we gave the ‘wishlist’ for a strategic partnership. That is all I can say as of now,” he said when asked about the details of the “operationalisation” of the partnership agreement signed in 2011.

Mr. Karzai, who met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the trip, said that his country had an emotional bond with India, which could never go cold.

His visit came soon after the visit by Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar last week during which he had held discussions with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his counterpart, Ajit Doval.

Though impressions had gained in Delhi that India-Afghanistan ties had gone a bit cold, the visits by Mr. Atmar and Mr. Karzai have once again showcased that Afghanistan is eager to push bilateral ties to the front of military cooperation.



Afghanistan has an emotional bond with India, which can never go cold, says Hekmat Khalil Karzai



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