India, Afghanistan sign strategic partnership deal

9:56 PM, Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

 Hamid Karzai Manmohan SinghNew Delhi: India and Afghanistan signed a Strategic Partnership agreement on Tuesday. This was signed by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held ‘detailed and frank discussions’ including on the issue of terrorism, after which Singh said the people of Afghanistan ‘deserve to live in peace and decide their future themselves without outside interference, coercion and intimidation.’

Apart from security cooperation, the two leaders agreed that Afghanistan’s economic integration with the Indian economy and South Asia as a whole was in the national interest of the people of Afghanistan and one of the ways to achieve this is to promote closer trade, investment and transit links.

Three agreements were signed including Strategic Partnership agreement, MoU on hydrocarbons and MoU on exploration of minerals.

Prime Minister Singh said that India stands by Afghanistan in its journey of peace and that the people of Afghanistan deserve to live in peace without outside interference.

Karzai is on a two-day visit to India. This is the first strategic partnership that Afghanistan has signed and the two sides said that they were committed to co-operation on terror as well.

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