India has right to establish its ties with Afghanistan

Washington: India as a regional and emerging global power has the right to establish its ties with Afghanistan, the US said and appreciated New Delhi`s role in development of the war-ravaged country.

"We have made clear that India, as a regional and emerging global power, has every right to have its own relationship with Afghanistan, and we appreciate the support to the Government of Afghanistan that India has provided," US State Department spokesman P J Crowley said.

The State Department spokesman said the US has taken regional approach to the Af-Pak challenges.

"The challenge of political extremism is not just focused on any one country. There have been attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan, in India. This is why we`re deeply engaged across the region with Afghanistan, with Pakistan, with India to try to attack this extremism that affects all of our countries," he said in response to a question.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday had assured visiting External Affairs Minister S M Krishna that India was "uppermost" on his government`s priorities and appreciated New Delhi`s contribution to the post-war reconstruction and rebuilding efforts in his country.

India, which has pledged USD 1.3 billion to the reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, has repeatedly expressed apprehensions over Pakistan`s involvement in the transition process and over giving Taliban representation in the government.

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