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Donald Trump seeks greater role for India in Afghanistan's stability

Indo-US bilateral trade in goods and services increased from $104 bn in 2014 to $114 bn in 2016

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Donald Trump seeks greater role for India in Afghanistan's stability

US President on Tuesday vowed to boost America’s strategic partnership with in but pressed New Delhi to provide more help to the war-torn country, especially in the economic sector, as it makes billions of dollars in trade with America.
 
Trump, in his first prime-time televised address to the nation as commander-in-chief, laid out his South Asia policy saying a "critical part" of it was to further develop US' strategic partnership with

 
He said after a "comprehensive review", it was decided that the American strategy in and South Asia will change dramatically.
 
The US President reached out to seeking an enhanced role for New Delhi, especially in the economic field, to bring peace and stability in India, the world's largest democracy, is a key security and economic partner of the US, he said. "We appreciate India's important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but makes billions of dollars in trade with the US, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development," Trump said.
 
"We are committed to pursuing our shared objectives for peace and security in South Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region," said the US President.
 
Indo-US bilateral trade in goods and services increased from $104 billion in 2014 to $114 billion in 2016.
 
has a strategic partnership with and is implementing projects worth $2 billion to help rebuild the country's infrastructure.
 
Donald Trump seeks greater role for India in Afghanistan's stability
has been supporting an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, broad-based and inclusive process of peace and reconciliation, and advocating the need for a sustained and long-term commitment to by the community.
 
In June last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurated a landmark dam, a Rs 1,700-crore showpiece infrastructure project by in strategically important Herat province.
 
In his speech, Trump came down heavily on Pakistan for its support to terror groups, saying Islamabad receives billions in aid from the US but continues to harbour terrorists.
 
"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond," he said.
 
"In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked together against common enemies. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. We recognise those contributions and those sacrifices," Trump said.
 
"But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organisations that try every single day to kill our people," he added.
 
Trump noted that the US has been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars but it continues to house the very terrorists that America is fighting.
 
"But that will have to change. That will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country's harbouring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace," Trump said.
 
In a statement following Trump's address, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson echoed the president's views on enhanced role for in the new South Asia strategy.
 
"will be an important partner in the effort to ensure peace and stability in the region, and we welcome its role in supporting Afghanistan's political and economic modernisation," he said.

First Published: Wed, August 23 2017. 02:56 IST
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