Afghan defence minister to visit India from WednesdayMay 31st, 2011 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Afghan Defence Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak will be on a three-day visit to India from Wednesday to explore opportunities for expanding bilateral military ties, particularly capacity building of his nation’s army.
Wardak, who will be accompanied by a high-level military delegation, will hold talks with Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony and other senior armed forces officers, including the three service chiefs, on issues of mutual interest and the security scenario in the South Asian region.
“Gen. Wardak will pay a three-day visit to India beginning tomorrow (Wednesday). He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation. He will hold talks with Antony and other senior officials of the defence ministry and the armed forces,” an official release said.
India is assisting the Afghan army in training its personnel.
“Bilateral cooperation issues, including capacity building of the Afghan security forces, are likely to be discussed,” the release said.
The armed forces of the two countries have had periodic interaction since Wardak last visited India in April 2008. Afghan Chief of General Staff Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi visited India last October.
“The visit of the Afghan defence minister to India marks another step in the steady progress in bilateral relations, particularly as his visit comes soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Afghanistan earlier this month,” the release added.
India is expected to play an important role in the second international conferrence on Afghanistan that Germany will host in Bonn in December. India was not invited to the first conference held in Turkey in 2009.
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