President Ashraf Ghani
is scheduled to visit India on Tuesday morning, while US
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
is also slated to land here on a three-day visit on Tuesday evening.
According to the ministry of external affairs, Ghani would land in Delhi at 8.10am and leave at 5.20pm, before Tillerson is to arrive. Ghani will have delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi
in the afternoon.
Ghani and Tillerson are unlikely to meet in Delhi. The two met in Kabul on Monday. Tillerson is on a week’s visit to Asia. According to a statement by the US
Embassy in Kabul, Tillerson said in his meeting with Ghani that the “new US
strategy for South Asia makes clear the US’ commitment to working with the government of Afghanistan
and with partners across the region and to deny safe havens to terrorists who threaten that goal.”
The Afghan president’s day-long working visit to Delhi, therefore, comes on the heels of a series of developments. Tillerson is also slated to visit Islamabad.
Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy, Zamir Kabulov, was in Delhi and held discussions with National
Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. The discussions related to regional security. Kabulov, as Putin's special representative, is responsible for Moscow’s Afghanistan
The Afghan president visit will build upon the recent high-level bilateral exchanges between India and Afghanistan.
These visits include that of Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of Afghanistan, during September 27-29 and of Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani during September 10-11 to India for the meeting of the bilateral Strategic Partnership Council which was co-chaired by Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, the MEA said.
A Press Trust of India
report from Washington quoted a senior US
official who said the Donald Trump administration wants India to help strengthen Afghanistan's capacities and institutions so that the war-torn country can take on a resurgent Afghan Taliban based in neighbouring Pakistan.
Fresh attacks were reported in Kabul and Ghazni on Monday, in which four policemen were killed.
The MEA said the invitation on behalf of Prime Minister Modi for President Ghani to visit India was extended by NSA Doval when he visited Kabul on October 16.