Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani today held bilateral talks on a range of key issues including cross-border terrorism and decided to strengthen counter-terror cooperation between the two countries.
During their meeting, the two leaders agreed to operationalise the additional amount of $1 billion for bilateral cooperation especially in capacity building, skill development, infrastructure building and connectivity linkages, including through a possible air corridor.
The corridor will give India a leverage in Afghanistan as Pakistan continues to deny transit link through its territory.
The two leaders discussed several aspects of the "close and friendly" relations between the two countries, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, adding they also reviewed the progress on recent decisions to deepen bilateral economic cooperation and strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
"Both leaders exchanged views on the common threat of terrorism, especially the cross border nature of the scourge which had caused immense suffering to the people of India and Afghanistan.
"In this context, the two leaders agreed to strengthen counter terror cooperation between the two countries, and enhance coordination at the UN and other relevant fora," he said.
India had pulled out of SAARC Summit, to be held in Islamabad last month, citing cross-border terror strikes emanating from Pakistan.
Afghanistan and other SAARC countries had also sought cancellation of the eight-nation meet on the grounds that there was incitement of terrorism in the region.
Noting with satisfaction the prospects for bilateral relations, Mr Modi and Mr Ghani agreed that both countries would continue to work ever harder for further strengthening them.
"Both leaders agreed to operationalise the additional amount of $1 billion for bilateral cooperation especially in capacity building, skill development, infrastructure building and connectivity linkages, including through a possible air corridor between India and Afghanistan to overcome obstacles to promotion of bilateral trade," Mr Swarup said.
Mr Ghani, who arrived here last evening to attend the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process conference, also recalled his visit to Golden Temple yesterday, describing it as "a moving experience".
In the meeting, Mr Modi assured Mr Ghani of India's continued support for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Also, Afghanistan is learnt to have sought enhanced supply of military hardware from India.
Afghanistan has been trying to revamp its military to fight the resurgent Taliban after drawdown of NATO forces began nearly two years back.
Sources said both India and Afghanistan were keen to finalise the air cargo agreement as soon as possible and that the broad contours of the pact were already finalised. India and Afghanistan have been exploring various connectivity projects for greater two-way trade.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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