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India has ‘legitimate’ security interests in Afghanistan, says US

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-09-2017 Lalit K Jha

Washington: India has legitimate security interests in Afghanistan, like Pakistan, and the US is open to having international partners for constructive investments to stabilise the war-torn country, a top American diplomat has said.

“Just as Pakistan has very real and legitimate security interests in Afghanistan, so does India. And we would like to see and appreciate constructive economic investments in Afghanistan’s stability and institutional stability,” Alice Wells, the acting assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, told a Congressional Subcommittee.

Wells was responding to a question from Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera on India’s role in Afghanistan.

Bera said the more India is involved in Afghanistan, the more Pakistan seems concerned, and asked Wells how would she negotiate in that situation to bring stability to Afghanistan.

“If you look at India, by 2020, they’ve (Indians) pledged to spend $3 billion. Some of the projects they’re already funded include the parliament house; an important dam; training in India for experts and in agriculture... very vital programs that Afghanistan is going to need,” Wells replied.

“And in that instance, I think, the more international partners we can bring to bear who do constructive investments, again, in the economic sphere and in the development sphere - we are very supportive of,” she said. PTI

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