Washington:  Emphasising on India's cooperation for developing stability in Afghanistan, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said here that India is an important country in the region and whatever India can do to bring stability in Afghanistan would be very helpful.
"India is an important country in that region. And obviously, whatever India can do to try to help develop stability in that region, both working with Afghanistan as well as Pakistan, would be very helpful to the prospects of peace in the future," Panetta told reporters yesterday during a Pentagon news conference.
Talking about Afghanistan, Panetta said their goal has always been an Afghanistan that can govern and secure itself and that can be a sovereign and independent country in that important region of the world and one that is sufficiently secure so that al-Qaida never again finds a safe heaven from which to conduct attacks on our country or anyplace else.
"That's the goal. And that's the kind of Afghanistan that I think we're trying to work towards and I think it's the kind of Afghanistan the Afghan people want to have for the future as well," Panetta said in response to a question.


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