Kabul: President Ashraf Ghani welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi with open arms and a warm hug during his daylong visit to Kabul. Modi will inaugurate Kabul’s new parliament complex built by India.
Earlier today PMO’s informed media that Modi was welcomes by President Ghani at the presidential palace. Sources said that the two leaders would later involve in delegation-level talks and issue a joint statement after the meeting. Modi had earlier today tweeted stating, “A meeting between friends”.
Later, PM Modi is also expected to meet Afghanistan’s Chief Executive officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and former President Hamid Karzai. Prime Minister Modi will also address a joint session of the two Afghan houses in the new parliament building along with President Ghani.
The parliament building project was initially conceived and started by India in 2007. This, India, hopes will kindle a friendship and cooperation to help rebuild war-torn Afghanistan. The complex was last estimated to cost Rs 710 crore in 2008. The visit to Kabul is also two days after India delivered three of four Russian Mi-25 helicopter gunships to Afghanistan. This is the first time India has transferred helicopter gunships or lethal weapons to any country.
India has so far invested around USD two billion in aid and reconstruction in Afghanistan and trained scores of officers in that country. However, the new parliament complex was due to have been completed in November 2011. Yet, it missed at least three completion deadlines over the last four years.