Focus on security, regional issues during Afghan President dialogues with PM Modi


New Delhi, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani arrived here on Wednesday on a day-long visit here and is expected to hold crucial talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the afternoon. Both the leaders will discuss bilateral ties and also matters concerning regional security. According to official sources, the bilateral meeting will take place around 1230 hrs. The visit comes just days after India and Afghanistan agreed to enhance cooperation under the New Development Partnership.There will also be a civic reception to be hosted by India Foundation. The visit is considered significant in more ways than one as it is coming within days of Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visiting Afghanistan and holding crucial talks. Moreover, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale travelled to Kabul to chair the meeting of the 'Joint Working Group on Political and Security Cooperation between India and Afghanistan'. Mr Ghani is expected to apprise Prime Minister Modi of the recent moves on reconciliation efforts with the Taliban. Meanwhile, US envoy Alice Wells is also expected to hold talks with Taliban representatives in Doha.Prime Minister Modi and his government have backed Mr Ghani on an 'Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process". During the third meeting of Joint Working Group on Political and Security Cooperation between India and Afghanistan in Kabul on September 10, both sides stressed the need to continue working together towards a stable, peaceful and prosperous region that is free from terrorism and extremism. Both the sides also discussed Indian assistance to Afghanistan and regional issues of mutual interest to the two countries. Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Hekmat Khalil Karzai, and Foreign Secretary of India Vijay Gokhale had co-chaired the meeting.