India an important partner in Afghanistan: Britain

July 8th, 2008 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) Calling India “an important partner in Afghanistan’s reconstruction”, Britain Tuesday condemned the suicide bombings that targeted the Indian embassy in Kabul and killed 44 people, including four Indians. It also underlined that such acts aimed at derailing global efforts to restore stability in that country will not succeed.

“India is an important partner in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms,” British high commissioner Richard Stagg said in New Delhi Tuesday.

“I have been in contact with the Indian government to offer our support at this difficult time,” he said.

India has pledged $850 million for different socio-economic and infrastructure projects aimed at rebuilding the violence-torn country.

“I was appalled to hear the news of the attack against the Indian embassy in Kabul,” British Foreign Minister David Miliband said in a statement in London.

“Our thoughts go out to those Indian embassy staff and Afghans who have lost their lives or been injured in this horrific attack, their families, friends, colleagues and governments,” he said.

Alluding to Sunday’s terror attack in Islamabad, the British foreign minister said: “This is the second terrorist atrocity in the region in as many days. These are cowardly actions carried out by those with no regard for human life.”

“The UK condemns these acts in the strongest possible terms. They are designed to undermine the efforts of democratic governments and the international community to bring peace and stability to the region,” Miliband said.

“The perpetrators of such atrocities will not succeed. Our thoughts are also with the ordinary Afghans and Pakistanis more generally, who are victims of those who wish to bring insecurity, not hope, to their lives,” he said.

Britain has lost 109 soldiers in Afghanistan since the US, along with other countries, launched an operation in late 2001 to oust the Taliban.

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