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US backs India's involvement in Afghanistan

The United States has strongly backed India's involvement in Afghanistan, saying New Delhi's "critical and positive role" there was a key part of the war-torn nation's future success.

world Updated: Jul 01, 2010 23:03 IST

The United States has strongly backed India's involvement in Afghanistan, saying New Delhi's "critical and positive role" there was a key part of the war-torn nation's future success.

"We highly value India's role and, frankly, the sacrifices that India has made in support of this mission in building economic and social opportunities in Afghanistan," Michele Flournoy, the US under secretary of defence for policy said Thursday.

"We see India's continued involvement in Afghanistan's development as a key part of that country's future success," she said in a speech to the Asia Society on the future of US-India defence relations.

Flournoy also welcomed efforts for Pakistan to ease tensions both with India and Afghanistan and hoped the three nations can work together. "They all have a stake in the stability of the region and we have strategic partnerships with all three countries," she said.

"One of the things we continue to try to press is our belief that that common stake in regional security can actually bring them to a place of cooperation that they have not experienced before. But it's not going to be easy."

India has provided $1.2 billion in aid to Afghanistan since the ouster of the Taliban regime in 2001 in the US-led campaign. But Pakistan is deeply suspicious of India's role in Afghanistan.