PM Narendra Modi pledges support to new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

India will stand with Afghanistan "at every step" as a friend and partner, PM Narendra Modi told new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday. Modi called Ghani to congratulate him on his election as president.

"Prime Minister Modi conveyed that India will stand with him, as a friend and a partner, at every step on the way, as his government moves forward in its efforts to build a strong, stable, peaceful, democratic, inclusive and prosperous nation," said the government in a release.

Modi also, said the government, lauded President Ghani's wisdom and statesmanship, and his commitment to unity, peace and progress in Afghanistan, which had enabled the formation of a broad-based inclusive government through a peaceful political transition.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The Prime Minister expressed confidence that President Ghani's expertise, global experience and grassroots knowledge, borne out of travel to every district of Afghanistan, will help him implement his bold agenda of economic reforms and development in Afghanistan. He also mentioned that President Ghani's experience will be beneficial for India and the region," said the press statement.

In his response, Ghani described India as the foundation of Afghanistan's diplomacy and economic strategy as he complimented Modi on his electoral success and his development vision, which, he said, would be beneficial for Afghanistan and the entire region.

Ghani also accepted Modi's invitation to visit India at the earliest opportunity and also suggested immediate commencement of dialogue between the two governments, including between their national security and economic advisors.

In the first transition of power since Hamid Karzai became president after the 2001 US-led invasion, Ghani was sworn in as president of Afghanistan on September 29.

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