External Affairs Minister SM Krishna will represent India at the inauguration of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai who won a second term in office in a keenly-fought election.
Krishna arrived in the heavily-fortified Afghan capital this evening where he was received by Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad and senior officials of the Afghan government.
Karzai will be sworn in as president for another five years at a ceremony tomorrow at the Presidential Palace in the central Kabul.
"The swearing-in of President Karzai is in itself, from India's point of view, a significant event. India and Afghanistan have historical and civilisational links and we have a vibrant and cordial relationship," Krishna told accompanying reporters.
"I would like to congratulate the people of Afghanistan for the courage that they have shown in going to the polling stations to exercise their franchise," he said.
The 51-year-old Karzai won a second term in office following August 20 election and withdrawal of his main challenger Abdullah Abdullah from a run-off which was scheduled for November seven.
Several foreign ministers from all parts of the world are expected to attend the inauguration along with hundreds of Afghan dignitaries.