Karzai’s Shop­ping Visit

Southasia - - BRIEFING -

Dur­ing his re­cent visit to In­dia, Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai held talks with In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh where the two dis­cussed the deep­en­ing po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the re­gion. The fo­cus of the talks was on U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. Karzai was keenly in­ter­ested to en­hance de­fence co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia and re­ceive a sup­ply of lethal and non-lethal weapons, which In­dia is ready to sup­ply.

In ad­di­tion, the In­dian govern­ment be­stowed the Afghan pres­i­dent with a Doc­tor­ate Hon­oris Causa. An­a­lysts sug­gest that the visit will build close re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries and help for­tify bi­lat­eral ties and re­solve re­gional is­sues.

Afghanistan and In­dia are strate­gi­cally im­por­tant neigh­bors with the abil­ity to ad­dress all is­sues un­der the Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (SPA), which they signed in 2011. Ac­cord­ing to the Afghan govern­ment, mech­a­nisms are avail­able to re­solve key is­sues and diplo­matic chan­nels will also come into play to bring the two coun­tries closer.

Dur­ing Karzai’s visit, In­dia of­fered more aid to Afghanistan in the wake of U.S. troops’ withdrawal next year. Ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial state­ment, In­dia is pre­pared to in­crease bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and will help Afghanistan strengthen its mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity in­sti­tu­tions. This is not the first time that In­dia will pro­vide mil­i­tary train­ing as­sis­tance to Afghanistan as it has been do­ing so since 2011 un­der the SPA.

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