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Ajit Doval meets Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, discusses strategic issues

Doval, who is visiting Afghanistan, held wide-ranging talks with his counterpart Hanif Atmar

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Ajit Doval, BRICS
Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval

and today pledged to further strengthen strategic cooperation as National Security Adviser President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and the top brass of the country's military establishment in

"It was agreed to further strengthen strategic dialogue and consultations for achieving shared objectives," an official statement here said.

Though there was no elaboration of the shared objectives, both sides were believed to have deliberated on challenges of emanating from Pakistan, ways to deepen bilateral defence and security ties and the fragile reconciliation process in the war-ravaged country.

Doval, who is visiting Afghanistan, held wide-ranging talks with his counterpart Hanif Atmar during which both sides exchanged views on various facets of the bilateral strategic partnership and regional and global issues of mutual interest.

"They emphasised that bilateral and sincere regional cooperation is important for peace, security and stability in the region. Both sides welcomed the opportunities created by the new US strategy for bringing peace and security in Afghanistan," the statement added.

Atmar hosted a working lunch for Doval where the Minister of Defence, Minister of Interior, Chief of Army Staff and senior officials of the National Security Council were also present.

Doval extended an invitation on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to President Ghani to visit and the invitation was accepted, the statement said.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah had visited last month during which combating was one of the major focus areas of the talks he had with Indian leaders as both sides emphasised the need to dismantle terror safe havens in the region.

Defence and security ties between and have been on an upswing.

has given four military helicopters to which has been trying to strengthen its air power following a significant cut in NATO forces there. The last of the four Mi 24 attack choppers was given in November last year.

has also been seeking India's assistance in making functional Soviet-era helicopters and transport aircraft which were not in a flying condition.

Last month, had announced taking up 116 new developmental projects in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, weeks after US President Donald Trump sought New Delhi's help in the economic development of that country.

has been playing a key role in the reconstruction of and given it assistance worth USD 2 billion in the last few years.

First Published: Mon, October 16 2017. 21:16 IST