Prime Minister Narendra Modi Gets An Old Friend's Welcome In Kabul

25/12/2015 12:01 PM IST | Updated 29/08/2016 9:03 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss a wide range of issues, including security and bilateral cooperation.

Modi met Ghani soon after his arrival in Kabul from Moscow in the wee hours. He was accorded a ceremonial welcome after which Ghani warmly received him at presidential palace.

"A meeting between friends...President @ashrafghani warmly welcomes PM @narendramodi as they begin their meeting," Prime Minister's office tweeted.

"The embrace of a friend, the strength of a true partner.

Prez @ashrafghani welcomes PM @narendramodi in Kabul," External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted.

On his arrival here, Modi was received by Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar and deputy Foreign minister Hekmat Karzai.

"From Russia to Afghanistan. A pre-dawn arrival in Kabul begins a day of engagements with another dost," Swarup tweeted.

Modi will also be holding talks with other Afghan leaders, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah and former President Hamid Karzai.

His talks with Afghan leaders will be focused on key bilateral issues including security co-operation and the ways to help the war-torn country where India has committed over USD two billion assistance.

He will also inaugurate the Parliament building which has been constructed by India at a cost of USD 90 million. He is expected to address the Afghan lawmakers.

The Parliament building project, which was initially conceived at a cost of USD 45 million, was started by India in 2007 as a mark of friendship and cooperation to help rebuild Afghanistan.

Significantly, prior to the Prime Minister's visit, India has delivered three Mi 25 attack helicopters to Afghanistan, in what is seen as a shift in its strategy towards the strife-torn country.

Defence sources said that three such choppers have already been delivered to the Afghan government, which will boost its capability against Taliban terrorists.

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