NEW DELHI - Addressing the India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Show in New Delhi, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah appreciated India and US’s role in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and said that Afghanistan’s stability is related to other countries in the region.
“Afghan stability in focus on economic prosperity is a win-win situation for all countries in our region. There is no loser if we let go of spoiler attitudes, outdated and failing strategies, and productive constraints and unnatural restrictions, which eventually hurt growth and prosperity for millions of our peoples," he said. "Recent American policy announcement on Afghanistan in our region by President (Donald) Trump is proof of strong strategic bonds and a shared outlook. And this partnership goes beyond two countries as we see today in this forum. It can expand into our greater region to include countries who share a common threat. India is a natural part of this fabric," the chief executive said.
He added: “We appreciate India’s growing economic role on the world stage, and as a major regional hub, and I want to take this opportunity here to thank His Excellency Prime Minister Modi and his team for the commitment to Afghanistan in finding new opportunities for trade and private sector development, and in other areas of mutual interest. Over the years, India has carved a commercial and business footprint that has strengthened our relations. We are happy to see continued Indian interest by companies and entities involved and exploring the opportunities in Afghanistan .”
Abdullah said Wednesday's rocket strikes at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul which were targeted at the plane of visiting US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, demonstrated the security challenges facing the country.
"In the incident, the terrorist incident of yesterday (Wednesday), shows the challenges that we are faced with. But also, it shows that it can delay us for a while, but they cannot stop us," he added.
Reports indicate that Abdullah was forced to delay his travel plans to India by a day, as the airport was shut down after the attack which the Taliban has claimed responsibility for.
This comes after Abdullah’s office confirmed that the chief executive is in New Delhi and will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Abdullah is accompanied by about 200 Afghan businessmen who will attend the Afghanistan-India trade and investment show.
The chief executive is expected to hold discussions with Indian officials on a number of issues including the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the economic sector, as well as the carpet industry and the establishment of a joint chamber of commerce and industries.
Abdullah’s deputy spokesman Jawed Faisal said on Wednesday that “this trip aims to strengthen and expand Afghanistan 's economic ties with India.”