India joins global community to support Afghanistan

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Bonn: India on Monday joined the rest of the world in pledging a long-term engagement with Afghanistan for its transformation into a peaceful and prosperous country so that international terrorism does not again find a sanctuary there.

A communique issued at the end of an international conference on Afghanistan, chaired by Germany and attended by more than 100 countries including India to chart the future course for the restive-nation, said "the main threat to Afghanistan security and stability is terrorism" which also "endangers regional and global peace and security".

It affirmed the international community`s "common determination to never allow Afghanistan to once again become a haven for international terrorism".

Addressing the conference, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, hinting at Pakistan, said terrorism emanating from outside Afghan borders posed potent threat to Afghanistan and warned that the war-torn country could "slip back" by outside interference in its internal affairs.

He underlined India`s pledge to support Afghanistan`s development while saying that the world community`s commitment to ensuring its stability and security should not end after international forces leave that nation in 2014.

The communique of the conference, aimed at ensuring international financial and technical support continues after the NATO troops withdraw in 2014, said the withdrawal of international troops should be followed by a decade of transformation so that Afghanistan is put on the path of "sustainable and equitable growth".

"We stress the need for a political solution in order to achieve peace land security in Afghanistan," the conference`s final conclusions said.

Recognizing the regional dimensions of terrorism and extremism, including terrorists safe havens, the communique stressed the need for "result oriented regional cooperation towards a region free from terrorism in order to secure Afghanistan and safe guard our common security against terrorist thereat".

It underlined the need for "political solution" to achieve peace ans security in Afghanistan. It called for "political process" for which "negotiations and reconciliation are essential elements" in order to ensure enduring stability in the country.

The communique underscored the process of transition that should be followed by "a decade of transformation".

The international community shared Afghanistan`s aim of achieving self reliance and prosperity through developing its human and resources potential for a sustainable and equitable growth and improved standards of living.

Participants at the conference, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon vowed to stand by Afghanistan as it struggles to establish security and stability.

"This renewed partnership between Afghanistan and the international community entails firm mutual commitments in the areas of governance, security, the peace process, economic and social development, and regional cooperation," the conference`s final conclusions said.

"The protection of civilians, strengthening the rule of law and the fight against corruption in all its forms remain key priorities."

The meeting came 10 years after another conference here put an interim Afghan government under Hamid Karzai in place after US-led troops ousted the Taliban in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

However, Pakistan – seen as a key actor to bring the bloody strife in Afghanistan to an end – decided to stay away from Bonn.

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