Afghanistan will soon open a consulate in Hyderabad which will be a step forward for expansion of ties between both the countries, its envoy to India said on Friday.
"We are going to open a consulate in Hyderabad which will not only focus on trade and business, but this is going to be a step forward for expansion of our ties at all levels," Afghanistan's Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali told reporters in Hyderabad.
"With the opening of our consulate in Hyderabad we are going to expand our ties in education, commerce and people to people ties, cultural cooperation and cooperation in health sector," he said.
Abdali was speaking on the sidelines of an interactive meeting organised by the FICCI along with FTAPCCI.
He said the Afghan and Indian governments have agreed to open a third representation of Afghanistan — after Embassy in Delhi and consulate in Mumbai — in the form of consulate in Hyderabad.
"I am here to discuss practical steps for opening Afghan consulate in Hyderabad. The agreement at the government level has been done. We will soon be sending a delegation to Hyderabad to look for the place," Abdali said, adding that the opening of consulate in Hyderabad will open an opportunity between various fields including trade and business.
On the proposal of sister city relationship between Hyderabad and Jalalabad, he said, "We have in-principle agreed on this. I am going to discuss again on this matter tomorrow with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao."
On starting direct flights between Hyderabad and Kabul, Abdali said, "After the consulate opens, it is certainly an option we will encourage airlines to operate flights between Kabul and Hyderabad."
Presently, there is direct flight service between Delhi and Kabul.
To a query, he said Afghanistan and India are strategic partners, which means special status to India, and there will be cooperation not only from Afghan government but also people.
He further said that New Delhi will host an major business summit, likely within the next two months, to attract global investments for the strategic Chabahar port in Iran.