India's External Affairs Minister SM Krishna will visit Afghanistan on January 8 and 9 at the invitation of his Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rassoul, the Indian Foreign Office said in a statement. "The visit is part of the regular high level consultations between the two governments and is an expression of the friendship and understanding that exists between India and Afghanistan,'' the statement said. As a strategic partner of Afghanistan, India stands steadfast with the government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts to build a strong, peaceful, democratic, pluralistic and prosperous Afghanistan, it said. During his two-day visit, Krishna is expected to discuss with Afghan leadership Indias role in maintaining peace and stability in the war-torn country and highlight the number of development projects for which it has pledged $1.3 billion.