US lauds India's contribution in Afghanistan's rebuilding, urges Kabul and Islamabad to improve bilateral ties

Washington: The US appreciates India's contributions in Afghanistan and looks forward for more ways to work with New Delhi to promote economic growth and security in the war-torn nation, a senior Trump administration official has said.

The US and India share economic and humanitarian interest in Afghanistan, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan.

India has allocated more than $3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since 2001.

Representational image. News18

Representational image. News18

"India further strengthened ties with Afghanistan, with the signing of a development partnership agreement last year. We appreciate these contributions, and we look forward for more ways to work with India to promote economic growth and security in Afghanistan," Sullivan said.

But at the same time, Sullivan said the Afghan crisis cannot be resolved without improvement in ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"Indians want to do business in Afghanistan, and ultimately as we've urged (Afghan) President (Ashraf) Ghani, the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has to improve. If that does, then we think that there is a viable future economically for Afghanistan," he said.

"The key, in my opinion, is the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan. If we can't solve that, this problem isn't going to go away. And it's in Pakistan's interest to solve the situation in Afghanistan as well," Sullivan said.

Updated Date: Feb 07, 2018 15:24 PM

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