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Afghan President Arrives In Australia, To Meet With Prime Minister


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (file photo)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has arrived in Australia for talks expected to cover security matters and female empowerment, Australian officials say.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on April 3 the visit, the first to Australia by an Afghan president, reflected a "strong bond" between the two countries.

Ghani will also meet Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial during his visit, which is scheduled to run through April 5.

At least 41 Australian troops have been killed in Afghanistan following the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Turnbull said discussions will focus on ongoing security and ways to increase cooperation "to help Afghanistan in its efforts to become more prosperous, secure, and self-reliant."

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated against Ghani's visit, calling for his government to end discrimination against the Hazara ethnic minority.

They also said they opposed the "forced repatriations" of asylum seekers rejected by Australia.

Based on reporting by AP and AAP
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