Afghanistan's President Sardar Mohammad Daoud arrived in New Delhi on Friday (3 March) for talks with India's leaders.
Afghanistan's President Sardar Mohammad Daoud arrived in New Delhi on Friday (3 March) for talks with India's leaders. The visit was seen by political observers as the first step towards the formation of a South Asian Common Market bringing countries of the Indian sub-continent and as far as Iran together in a formal trade agreement.
SYNOPSIS: At New Delhi's airport, President Daoud was met by India's President Neelam Reddy, Premier Morarji Desai and Foreign Minister Vajpayee. President Daoud came to power with the help of Soviet-trained army officers in a coup in 1973. Afghanistan, which is one of the least developed nations in the world, has long been dependent on Soviet aid, and the U.S.S.R. has been its main trading partner. But, in recent years, President Daoud has adopted a more independent foreign policy, and Afghanistan has begun to export fruit and vegetables to India and Pakistan.
Officially, President Daoud is on a goodwill visit to India, and he was welcomed by the Mayor of New Delhi, Mr. Grupta.
India proposed a scheme for Asian economic cooperation in January for what it called an uninterrupted interchange of trade, extending from Iran to the Indo-Chinese peninsula.
President Reddy, who later met President Daoud in private, has envisaged a community of equal and sovereign nations enriching each other with their national assets. Both leaders agree that this new regional concept would take some time to achieve practical shape. But President Reddy has said Western Europe has done it, and there was no reason why this region of Asia could not also form an integrated economic community.