Manmohan pledges $2 billion to Afghanistan

Addressing the joint session of the Afghan parliament, he also affirmed that India would stand by the Afghan people as they rebuild their nation from the ravages of war.
"The total outlay on these and other additional initiatives that we will take in consultation with the government of Afghanistan in the next few years will amount to 500 million US dollars. This will take our total commitment of assistance to around 2 billion US dollars," he said.

India is the sixth largest donor to Afghanistan.  "I am happy that the people of Afghanistan are emerging from the ravages of war and rebuilding the country as a peaceful home for the confluence of cultures, for commerce and development and where the countries of the region cooperate rather than compete with each other," he added.

"As an abiding friend, India will always stand by you in this noble task. We have always stood by our Afghan friends and I want to reaffirm that we will do so in future as well," he added.

This is Manmohan Singh's first visit to Kabul in six years. He is the first foreign head of state to stay at the personal suite of former Afghan king Zahir Shah in the Presidential Palace, since the fall of the Taliban.

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