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PM Modi holds crucial parleys with Afghan Prez Ghani on bilateral, regional issues


New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held crucial bilateral talks here on Wednesday wherein the status of the peace process in the war-ravaged country came up for deliberations. "Strategic partners and a valued neighbour! PM Narendra Modi warmly received President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani at the Hyderabad House ahead of the bilateral talks," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted. Mr Ghani arrived here on Wednesday on a one-day visit. The Prime Minister was reportedly briefed about the status of the peace process. 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'. Meanwhile, US envoy Alice Wells is also expected to hold talks with Taliban representatives in Doha. Mr Modi and his government have backed Afghan President 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. In the last 15-16 years, India has already committed about USD 2 billion for the socio-economic development of the terror-hit country.

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