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President Says ‘India Committed to Work Closely with Afghanistan’

India was "committed to working closely with Afghanistan" and wanted it to act as a bridge between south and central Asia and beyond, said President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday.

The President had conveyed his greetings and best wishes to Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on his assumption of the office of the Afghan President.

Conveying his best wishes, he said, “On behalf of the Republic of India, I wish to convey my warm greetings and my best wishes as you assume the office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, a country with which India has a strategic partnership and a civilisational relationship.”

Mukherjee said in his message: "India remains committed to working closely with your government as you set out to rebuild a stable, progressive and prosperous Afghanistan."

A Rashtrapati Bhavan statement quoted the president as saying,"We also share your vision of an Afghanistan that is fully integrated in south Asia, acting as a bridge between south Asia and central Asia and beyond. I sincerely believe that our bilateral relationship will continue to contribute positively to peace, stability and development in our neighbourhood in the years to come."

Mukherjee said the statesmanship and leadership shown by all Afghan political leaders and, in particular Ahmadzai himself, had been instrumental in creating the conditions for the historic and peaceful transition from one democratically elected government in Afghanistan to another.

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