Afghanistan Ambassador pitches for trilateral India-US-Afghan Strategic Dialogue

India, Afghanistan and the U.S. will revive the trilateral strategic dialogue to take on regional challenges especially terrorism, Dr. Shaida Abdali, Afghanistan Ambassador in India said.

He said that the idea of trilateral strategic dialogue was long discussed but was never operationalized.

“Reactivation of that strategic dialogue especially in the context of the war on terrorism is highly desired. The three of us are affected a lot by the phenomenon of terrorism and can decide on a strategy while taking others in the region along for a more effective strategy,” Dr. Abdali said, speaking at Brookings India on Tuesday.

On defence cooperation between India and Afghanistan, he observed that though Indian military assistance is not talked about much in public, India is doing it within “their capabilities.”

In this direction India trains several hundreds of officers of the Afghan National Army (ANA). At any time, 300 officers are training in India, Dr. Abdali said and added, “There is a plan for a 50% increase in training very soon.”

This will be one of the issues to be discussed at the second partnership council meeting headed by the foreign ministers of the two countries in May.

India has already supplied several utility and attack helicopters and has recently agreed to refurbish several Soviet-era transport aircraft grounded in Afghanistan. Kabul has also given a wishlist of military items which includes artillery guns, tanks, ammunition among others.

By: The Hindu

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