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With an Afghan cargo plane carrying $11 million worth of cargo, mainly medicinal herbs, landing in Delhi on June 19, it was the first direct air link established between India and Afghanistan.

The flight was as much for business as it was politically symbolic, with Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj being present when the plane landed, according to Khaama Press.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the development, and thanked Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani for launching the much-awaited Afghanistan-India air corridor with this flight from Kabul.

Modi tweeted: “Happy to welcome the first Air Freight Corridor flight from Kabul…Direct connectivity between India and Afghanistan will usher prosperity. I thank President @ashrafghani for the initiative.”

The plane carried 62 tons of cargo and left Kabul airport on Monday (June 19) evening. The Indian Embassy in Kabul said that the second flight will reach Delhi soon, with 4 tons of fresh fruits.

—India Legal Bureau

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