Afghanistan dominates Biden talks in India


Summary

US Vice President Joe Biden has held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he sought to calm fears over the exit of US troops from Afghanistan and capitalise on growing investment opportunities.

南宁桑拿

Biden also met President Pranab Mukherjee and a top opposition party figure, Sushma Swaraj, and will be guest of honour at a dinner hosted by his counterpart Hamid Ansari in the capital later on Tuesday.

Biden, the most senior US official to visit India since President Barack Obama in 2010, discussed with Singh the security situation in Afghanistan during a 75-minute meeting, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.

The vice president has said the world’s two largest democracies share common goals on a range of regional security issues.

But there is widespread unease among Indian leaders over what will happen in Afghanistan once US combat troops have left in 2014, with many fearing that Pakistan has most to gain from the withdrawal.

During talks, the pair confirmed that Singh will meet Obama during a six-day visit to Washington from September 20, PTI quoted sources as saying.

They also discussed implementation of a landmark civil nuclear deal and ways to build up two-way commerce, the sources said.

Boosting bilateral trade is expected to form the cornerstone of a keynote speech Biden is scheduled to make in Mumbai on Wednesday.

India has spent more than $US2 billion ($A2.1 billion) of aid in Afghanistan since the Taliban, hardline Islamists who were strong allies of Pakistan, were toppled in a 2001 US-led invasion.

Even though plans for talks between the US and the Taliban collapsed last month, the possible return to power of the insurgents alarms many in India.


US Vice President Joe Biden has held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he sought to calm fears over the exit of US troops from Afghanistan and capitalise on growing investment opportunities.

南宁桑拿

Biden also met President Pranab Mukherjee and a top opposition party figure, Sushma Swaraj, and will be guest of honour at a dinner hosted by his counterpart Hamid Ansari in the capital later on Tuesday.

Biden, the most senior US official to visit India since President Barack Obama in 2010, discussed with Singh the security situation in Afghanistan during a 75-minute meeting, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.

The vice president has said the world’s two largest democracies share common goals on a range of regional security issues.

But there is widespread unease among Indian leaders over what will happen in Afghanistan once US combat troops have left in 2014, with many fearing that Pakistan has most to gain from the withdrawal.

During talks, the pair confirmed that Singh will meet Obama during a six-day visit to Washington from September 20, PTI quoted sources as saying.

They also discussed implementation of a landmark civil nuclear deal and ways to build up two-way commerce, the sources said.

Boosting bilateral trade is expected to form the cornerstone of a keynote speech Biden is scheduled to make in Mumbai on Wednesday.

India has spent more than $US2 billion ($A2.1 billion) of aid in Afghanistan since the Taliban, hardline Islamists who were strong allies of Pakistan, were toppled in a 2001 US-led invasion.

Even though plans for talks between the US and the Taliban collapsed last month, the possible return to power of the insurgents alarms many in India.