Indian Prime Minister Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will hold a virtual summit today (February 9). This will be the first virtual summit of PM Modi in 2021. In 2020, PM Modi had several virtual summits with his counterparts from Australia, EU, Sri Lanka, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam.

Both India and Afghanistan share a close partnership. Amid the pandemic, India sent 75,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan and was also able to send more than 20 tonnes of life-saving medicines and other equipment to address the Covid-19 challenge. On Sunday (February 7), New Delhi sent 500,000 India-made covid vaccines to Afghanistan, making it the first country to do so.

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The virtual summit will see many announcements including a likely signing of the agreement on Shahtoot Dam that will provide clean water to 2 million residents of the national capital Kabul.

This will be the 2nd dam India will be building in the country after the Salma or India–Afghanistan friendship dam in Herat Province of the country. The agreement was also announced by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar during his address to the Afghanistan 2020 Conference in November.

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