NEW DELHI (AA) – A comprehensive and permanent cease-fire is critical for the success of the Afghan peace process, India’s foreign minister said in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart on Wednesday.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar stressed that enduring peace in Afghanistan is important for the security and prosperity of the region and the entire world, according to a statement issued by India’s External Affairs Ministry.

Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar arrived in India on a visit on Monday, along with a high-level delegation of Foreign Ministry officials.

A range of issues were discussed during the trip, including India’s extensive development partnership with Afghanistan, matters of mutual interest in the region and the world, and efforts for peace in Afghanistan, according to the statement by the Indian ministry.

Jaishankar assured his counterpart of New Delhi’s “long-term commitment towards a peaceful, sovereign, stable and inclusive Afghanistan, where the rights of all sections of society are protected within a democratic constitutional framework.”

Discussions also centered on strengthening India and Afghanistan’s strategic partnership, particularly cooperation in political, security, trade, and economic matters, read the statement.

The need for collaboration for capacity development, education, social and cultural relations was also stressed, it added.

The Afghan foreign minister thanked New Delhi for having provided $3 billion in development cooperation and extending assistance on projects that have benefited all 34 provinces of Afghanistan, the statement said.

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