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Last Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
Karzai signs accords with India
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Delhi
The two leaders are meeting in the Indian capital, Delhi
Afghanistan and India have signed three agreements on education and rural development during a visit to Delhi by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

President Karzai held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as part of the visit which is aimed at boosting relations, especially economic ties.

Delhi is one of Kabul's leading donors and has spent over $500m since the overthrow of the Taleban in 2001.

President Karzai will also visit the southern software hub of Hyderabad.

He is accompanied by 10 ministers as well as a group of Afghan businessmen.


After his talks with the prime minister, President Karzai thanked India for its assistance.

"The co-operation between us will definitely benefit our people," he said at a news conference.

Strategic value

Indian officials say the country's ties with Afghanistan are very important to Delhi.

India is helping rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure with regular contributions in sectors like education, health care, communications and power.

Delhi is also involved in the training of Afghanistan's civil servants, diplomats and police officers.

During a visit to Kabul by Manmohan Singh last year - the first by an Indian prime minister in nearly three decades - India announced that it would build the new Afghanistan parliament building.

Afghanistan has great strategic value to India especially as it is a gateway to Central Asia, a region India wants to tap to fuel its growing energy demands.

But Delhi also wants to counter the influence of its regional rival Pakistan in Afghanistan.

While Pakistan was a major supporter of the Taleban regime, India backed the Northern Alliance which overthrew it.

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06 Mar 03 |  South Asia

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