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Modi calls Afghan president, meets party leaders
Friday May 23, 2014 10:33 PM, IANS

Even before formally taking over as the prime minister, Narendra Modi is on the job already as he called Afghan President Hamid Karzai and condemned the terror attack on Indian consulate in Herat.

The prime minister-designate also held a meeting with top party leaders, as ally MDMK protested over inviting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the swearing-in ceremony.

According to officials in Gujarat Bhavan, Modi telephoned Karzai, after the Indian consulate in Herat city of Afghanistan was attacked by four heavily armed gunmen Friday.

All four attackers were killed while trying to enter the complex.

"I condemn the attack on our consulate in Herat, Afghanistan. Closely monitoring the situation. I have spoken to the Ambassador as well," Modi tweeted.

According to officials, Karzai, during the conversation, assured Modi that Afghanistan will do all possible to protect Indian missions in that country.

Modi also thanked Karzai for the efforts of Afghanistan forces in thwarting the attack on the Indian mission.

Modi talked to Indian Ambassador Amar Sinha and bolstered the morale of the Indian staff there.

"India salutes the efforts of India's security personnel and Afghan security forces for their valiant efforts to fight the terrorists in Herat," Modi tweeted later.

"I salute the Consulate staff for their indomitable spirit & high morale throughout the difficult circumstances," he said.

Syed Akbaruddin, external affairs ministry spokesman, said in a tweet: "PM designate Narendra Modi following events related to attack on India's consulate in Herat. Speaks to Amb Sinha in Afghanistan. Bolsters morale of all staff in India's Missions in Afghanistan".

"Narendra Modi assures all support to brave staff at Consulate in Herat," he added.

The former Gujarat chief minister also received a call from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who congratulate Modi on his poll victory and expressed hope that India and Brazil will work together on various international forums.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte also congratulated Modi on phone over the victory.

The prime minister designate also met party leaders, as Bharatiya Janata Party discussed the formation of government, as well as the intricacies of the swearing-in ceremony.

Modi met Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley and Amit Shah at Gujarat Bhavan Friday evening.

The meeting cames after MDMK leader Vaiko Friday met BJP president Rajnath Singh and expressed his dissatisfaction over the invitation extended to Rajapaksa for Modi's swearing-in ceremony.

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