No troop contribution in Afghanistan; but will continue development and medical assistance: India

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New Delhi: India will continue its development and medical assistance in Afghanistan but will not send its troops, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted on Tuesday after a meeting with visiting US Defence Secretary James Mattis.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her US counterpart James Mattis held comprehensive talks covering the entire gamut of the bilateral defence partnership.

Without naming Pakistan, Mattis said there can be “no tolerance to terrorism safe havens”.

Mattis’s India visit comes a little over two months after US President Donald Trump said that India must play a bigger role in Afghanistan’s path to peace. On Tuesday, Mattis acknowledged that India has already contributed significantly.

India, one of the largest contributors in Afghanistan where it is involved in several development projects, however, has ruled out troops contribution amidst the US emphasis on a greater participation by the country in the conflict-ridden Islamic nation.

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