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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani advances Delhi visit

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is rushing to New Delhi on Tuesday on a day-long working visit ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s talks with the Indian leadership on Afghanistan and other regional and global issues.

Ghani, who proposed to visit India in early November, has advanced his trip ostensibly to brief Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the deteriorating security situation with the Taliban unleashing a wave of terror attacks in the country, an informed source said.

Tillerson was in Afghanistan on Monday on an unannounced visit to hold talks with Ghani. Now when the top American diplomat meets Indian leaders in New Delhi on Wednesday, both sides would have with them facts about the ground situation in Afghanistan and how India could deepen its engagement in the troubled country, the source added.

During his visit, President Ghani will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind before going into delegation-level talks with PM Modi, who will also host a lunch in honour of the visiting dignitary. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will also call on President Ghani, the External Affairs Ministry said.

The invitation on behalf of the Indian PM to President Ghani to visit India was extended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval when he visited Kabul on 16 October.

The visit provides an opportunity to the two countries to review the entire gamut of multi-faceted bilateral strategic partnership, including the new development partnership; hold consultations and coordinate on furthering the shared objective of promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and efforts to combat the menace of terrorism; and discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest, a press release said.