OBAMA GOVT REACHES OUT TO JOIN AFGHAN DOTS, BUILD TIES
NEW DELHI: In a first major contact with India after the re-election of president Barack Obama, US under secretary of political affairs Wendy Sherman updated New Delhi about the complex endgame in Afghanistan and expressed the intent to build counter-terrorism and security ties between the two countries.
The top US diplomat held discussions with external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and other officials on her visit dictated with by Obama administration's compulsions in Afghanistan, sources said. The crucial central Asian neighbours of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan also figure in Sherman's three-nation trip.
While the US is set to retain some of its military presence in Afghanistan, the peace process with Taliban is not giving the desired results.
New Delhi also prefers the presence of West for a better security situation as whatever happens in Afghanistan has a direct security implication for India. It is worried about any strategic depth Pakistan would eye disproportionate to its status as a neighbouring country. Washington has also been urging India to play a greater role in Afghanistan, including security cooperation.