NEW DEHLI: India and Afghanistan on Wednesday wound up two days of talks during a visit to New Delhi by Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, saying they would work together to combat terrorism in the region.
Rassaoul met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and held talks with his Indian counterpart SM Krishna on issues ranging from trade to the scourge of terrorism, a joint statement released after the talks said. “They agreed that terrorism is the main threat undermining peace and stability in the region and reiterated their resolve to effectively combat and defeat it,” it said.
Rassoul and Krishna also discussed the possibility of transforming war-torn Afghanistan into a springboard for trade between Central and South Asia, the statement added.
It did not mention whether Pakistan was raised during the talks. Both sides have troubled relations with Islamabad because of their suspicions of Pakistani funding and support for extremism within their borders.
But the statement said: “They also emphasised the need to ensure that terrorist and extremist groups targeting Afghanistan and other countries in the region are denied safe havens and sanctuaries.”
India and Pakistan are jostling for influence in Afghanistan, which analysts say could bring fresh instability to the country as US-led international troops eye their exit after mid-2011.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2010.
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