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2nd Strategic Partnership Council Meeting between India and Afghanistan

Published on September 12, 2017
The 2nd meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council between India and Afghanistan was held in New Delhi on 11 September 2017.
It was set up under the aegis of bilateral Strategic Partnership Agreement 2011.

  • External Affairs Minister of India, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, and Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani co-chaired the meeting. 
  • Bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest were discussed at the meeting.
  • The outcomes of the four Joint Working Groups in the areas of political and security issues; trade, commerce and investment; development cooperation; and human resource development, education and culture were reviewed and assessed positively.

Highlights of the meeting

Political & Security Consultations: 

  • India agreed to extend further assistance for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, organized crime, trafficking of narcotics and money laundering.
  • The Indian side reiterated its support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. 

Trade, Commerce and Investment Cooperation:  

  • Air Cargo Corridor between Kabul and Kandahar to be expanded to include other cities in Afghanistan and India as well as to increase the frequency of the cargo flights between the two countries. both sides agreed to work towards expeditious operationalisation of the Chahbahar Port in Iran under the trilateral Agreement for Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor signed in May 2016. 
  • Both sides agreed to explore joint investments. The Afghan side welcomed the imminent commencement of wheat shipments of 170,000 metric tons from India to Afghanistan via Chahbahar Port.
  • The liberalization of visa measures by India for Afghan nationals, including decision to grant upto 5 year multiple entry business visa, was welcomed 

New Development Partnership

  • Both sides agreed to take up 116 High Impact Community Development Projects to be implemented in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in the areas of education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, sports infrastructure, administrative infrastructure.
  • Shahtoot dam and drinking water project for Kabul that would also facilitate irrigation; ·
  • Low cost housing for returning Afghan refugees in Nangarhar Province to promote resettlement; ·
  • Road connectivity to Band-e-Amir in Bamyan Province that would promote tourism to the National Park and economic development; ·
  • Water supply network for Charikar city in Parwan Province; ·
  • Establishment of a Gypsum board manufacturing plant in Kabul to promote value added industry; and ·
  • Construction of a polyclinic in Mazar-e-Sharif.

People to People Contacts, Culture, Education, Health, Science and Technology

  •  The 10th Anniversary of the ICCR Special Scholarship Scheme for Afghan Nationals was commemorated in 2016 and it was agreed to implement it further for the period from 2017 to 2022. It was decided to start implementation of 500 scholarships for graduate studies in India for the next-of-kin of martyrs of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces from the Academic year 2018-19 and expand the medical assistance for Afghan National Army personnel.
  • India agreed to explore further cooperation in strengthening of ANASTU (Afghan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology University) as an agricultural university.

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