India says 'No troops on ground' in Afghanistan: Sitharaman

ANI | Updated: Sep 26, 2017 14:37 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept.26 (ANI): Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday ruled out any possibility of the country sending its troops to Afghanistan.

Addressing a joint press conference with visiting United States Defense Secretary Lt. Gen. (Retired) James Mattis after delegation level talks here, Sitharamanin response to a question, said, "There shall not be any boots on the ground from India," with regard to Afghanistan.

She, however, reiterated that India will continue providing development and medical assistance to Kabul.

In making this point, Sitharaman cleared the air on previous speculative reports that India was thinking of deploying troops in Afghanistan after U.S. President Donald Trump called for greater Indian involvement in that war torn country.

During the delegation-level discussions, both sides also resolved to eradicate terrorist safe heavens across the globe.

"There can be no tolerance of terrorist safe heavens. As global leaders, India and the US resolve to work together to etadicate this scourge," Secretary Mattis said in his statement.

Both sides also placed emphasis on the need for expanding bilateral maritime cooperation.

Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in New Delhi last night on a maiden three-day visit. He is first Cabinet member of the Trump Administration to visit New Delhi after the January 20 inauguration in Washington.

India currently provides USD three billion in aid to Afghanistan and also provides training to its military and other assistance. (ANI)