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Sushma Swaraj inaugurates new Indian embassy building in Kabul

Senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj during a press conference in New Delhi on Nov.28, 2013. (Photo: IANS)
KABUL: A new $40 million Indian embassy building, which features an integrated security system, was inaugurated by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday here in the heart of the Afghan capital.

The building is spread over an area of 5 acres and has been constructed at the cost of $40 million. The total area of the building is 8,300 square metres.

The building is at Wazir Akbar Khan, close to the Afghan foreign ministry.

The foundation stone of the building was laid by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 and the actual work started in 2009. The building, constructed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), has a modern integrated security system which was installed by Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL).

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Afghan foreign minister Zarar Osmani and a number of foreign diplomats.

“This is [a] critical decade of transformation for Afghanistan. India will always be Afghanistan’s first strategic partner and we will always share Afghan people’s vision of a strong, independent, united and prosperous Afghanistan for which so many Afghans sacrificed so much,” Swaraj said.

“India is prepared to do whatever is possible, whichever capabilities and means, to work with Afghan government and its people to realise this vision.

“I would like to thank the Afghan people for consistently praising our work in Afghanistan amongst the best and most effective aid and humanitarian programmes. This has always been a source of great encouragement and inspiration for us,” the minister said.

India has invested $2 billion in aid and reconstruction and trained scores of Afghan officers.

“Before coming here for the inauguration, I also spent some time remembering our officials and personnel who laid down their lives during targeted terrorist attacks against our diplomatic premises and developmental projects,” she said.

The Indian embassy here was attacked twice in 2008 and 2009 that left 75 people dead.

“I am deeply grateful to valiant personnel of Afghan security forces who continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our premises and personnel remain safe,” Swaraj said.

“I recognize the contribution of our security forces guarding our installation and personnel,” she said. The largest flag in Afghanistan was raised on Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan hill by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Indian External Affairs Minister on Tuesday.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj pledged one million US Dollars for the area to be turned into a green park.
( India times )

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