Modi and Ghani express firm resolve to end terrorism, strengthen strategic cooperation

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NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday expressed their firm resolve to end the menace of terrorism.

The two leaders also discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues and ways to “further the shared objective of promoting security and stability” in Afghanistan.

“Furthering ‘neighbourhood first’ policy with a strategic partner. Prime Minister Modi receives President Ghani at Hyderabad House,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. “Prime Minister Modi and president Ghani discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues, [and] expressed firm resolve to end menace of terrorism,” he added.

Earlier, President Ghani met with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss bilateral strategic partnership.

Ghani was received by India’s State Minister of Defense and other high-ranking officials at the Delhi military airport on arrival.

The Afghan president discussed the expansion of economic cooperation, investments, transit, regional connectivity and fighting terrorism with Swaraj.

His trip comes a day after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson paid a fleeting visit to Afghanistan. Tillerson will visit India on Wednesday where he will hold talks with officials on US President Donald Trump’s new strategy for South Asia and Afghanistan.

The US Embassy in Kabul confirmed the visit and said Ghani and Tillerson reaffirmed the US-Afghan commitment to achieving peace, stability and long-term prosperity in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a press conference after meetings with Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Tillerson said America’s future policy towards Pakistan would base on whether Islamabad took action that “we feel is necessary”.

“We have made some very specific requests of Pakistan in order for them to take action to undermine the support the Taliban receive and other terrorist organisations receive,” he told reporters at the Bagram Airfield, America’s largest base in Afghanistan.

Tillerson spent almost three hours at Bagram, most of the time in talks with Ghani, Abdullah and other US and Afghan officials.