No Indian troops to Afghanistan: Nirmala Sitharaman

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India will continue its development and medical assistance there, says the Defence Minister.

India will continue its development and medical assistance in Afghanistan but will not send troops, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in Tuesday.“There shall not be any boots on the ground from India,” Ms. Sitharaman said in response to questions at the joint press conference along with her U.S. counterpart James Mattis.

There has been much speculation about India deploying troops in Afghanistan after U.S. President Donald Trump called for greater Indian involvement in the war torn country.After delegation level discussions between the two Ministers, India and U.S 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,” Mr. Mattis said in his statement.With increasing Chinese presence in the region, both sides put great emphasis in expanding their expanding maritime cooperation.

U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis landed in India on Monday for his maiden three-day visit, the first by a Cabinet member of the Trump administration.India has already extended a $3-billion aid to Afghanistan and also provides training to its military and other assistance.

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