NEW DELHI - India will continue to support Afghanistan in all possible ways, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Thursday. Welcoming Abdullah Abdullah — Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan– who had called on Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan here, the president said that India considers him a very close friend.
Kovind said that India considers Afghanistan not just a strategic partner, but a country very close to our hearts. He said Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Kabuliwala’ (a short story in Bengali) resonates in the heart of every Indian. “Every Indian instinctively trusts a person from Kabul,” Kovind said.The president said that a new development partnership between India and Afghanistan has been announced earlier this month.
“Both sides are embarking on new generation development projects aimed at supporting socio-economic development in Afghanistan. India will continue to support Afghanistan in all possible ways,” he said.
The president said that India deeply respects the supreme sacrifice made by the Afghan national defence and security forces to fight the forces of terror.
“We are indebted to them for ensuring security of Indians and of our mission and consulates in Afghanistan,” Kovind said.
India strongly condemns the acts of cross border terror perpetrated against the people of Afghanistan, he said.
“There is no doubt that the people of Afghanistan have suffered for a long time. Generations have been lost to terrorism. We empathise with their yearning for peace.
“We stand with the government and people of Afghanistan in their quest for peace, stability and prosperity,” the president said.