Afghanistan, Australia share strong bond: Turnbull

Indo Asian News Service

Canberra, April 3 (IANS) Afghanistan and Australia share a "strong connection" for more than a century, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said.

Turnbull made the remarks while welcoming Afghan President Ashraf Ghani who arrived in Australia on Sunday for a three-day visit, the Australian reported.

Ghani is the first Afghan leader to visit Australia. Regional security, building capacity in the public sector and female empowerment are among the issues to be discussed by both the leaders.

The Afghan President will also meet Governor General Peter Cosgrove here.

Turnbull in a statement said: "Afghanistan and Australia share a solid connection which has been forged over more than a century of shared history and contact between our two peoples."

"From the early Afghan cameleers in the 1860s, to the Australian military effort to free Afghanistan from terrorism, both nations have maintained a healthy partnership, built on a foundation of mutual respect," he said.

According to the Australian Prime Minister, the visit also involves a number of discussions regarding regional security in the Middle East.

"During this visit, discussions will focus on our ongoing security and development cooperation to help Afghanistan in its efforts to become more prosperous, secure and self-reliant," he said.

Ghani's visit to the country will conclude on Wednesday.

--IANS

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