India reiterates commitment to Afghanistan’s development

June 14th, 2008 - 1:32 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) India has reiterated its abiding commitment to the “unity, integrity and development” of Afghanistan at an international conference in Paris. Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma, at a conference in support of Afghanistan Thursday, expressed support for the “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process” that would help in propelling the country towards the path of “stability, security and prosperity”.

He hoped the Paris conference would “buttress” the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said here Friday.

The conference was attended by representatives from 67 countries and saw the participation of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, US first lady Laura Bush, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband among others. Organised jointly by France, Afghanistan and the UN, the conference was inaugurated by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

India is the sixth largest bilateral donor in Afghanistan.

“India’s sustained engagement in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan was acknowledged and appreciated at the conference,” the MEA statement added.

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