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Foreign Minister Spanta Signs MoU with Indian Counterpart

On January 23, Foreign Minister Dr. Rangeen Dadfar Spanta received Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Kabul. The Foreign Minister discussed security concerns, as well as expanding trade relations between the two nations and expanding regional connectivity. They joined representatives from the United Nations Development Program to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding for a 100.08-million-dollar grant from India. The resources will be used for capacity building in a number of key sectors. The MoU also established a small development program in which the Indian Government will sponsor and finance Afghan projects worth under a million dollars.

In a joint press conference, Foreign Minister Mukherjee said “India remains committed to helping Afghanistan in reconstruction and development, and hopes that the people of Afghanistan will overcome the challenges faced by them”.

During his visit, Foreign Minister Mukherjee extended an invitation to Dr. Spanta to attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting in New Delhi in March. SAARC -- which also groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka -- will officially admit Afghanistan as a member at the Delhi meeting.

Afghan Foreign Minister Mukherjee also inaugurated a plaque to mark the opening of Indira Gandhi Street, which passes through the Indira Gandhi Hospital. He also officially handed over the Indira Gandhi Clinic to the Government of Afghanistan, besides a consignment of medicines manufactured in India.

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