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India, China are partnering to train Afghanistan’s diplomats

AT Monitoring Desk-In an unprecedented move, the two neighboring countries of Afghanistan, India and China are undertaking a collaboration in Afghanistan. The two countries will partner to train Afghani envoys and diplomats starting next month, according to media reports citing government sources.

A portion of the training will take place at New Delhi’s Foreign Services Institute while Beijing will serve as a location for the remaining segment of the training course.

The decision follows a bilateral meeting between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan, in New Delhi. It is believed that Modi and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, discussed areas for collaboration in Afghanistan at their summit in Wuhan this past April. The two decided to undertake a joint economic project in the country as a result of the talks.

Besides the training of diplomats, Modi and Ghani discussed a number of issues, choosing to focus on security and the Afghani government’s counter-terrorism-and-insurgency efforts in the region.

India has a strong relationship with Afghanistan, having reportedly funded $2 billion worth of development projects in the country since 2002. Additionally, trade between the two countries has crossed the $1 billion mark.

Last September, India decided to commence work on 116 development projects in Afghanistan under its “New Development Partnership” programme. The projects will be spread across a number of sectors such as education, agriculture, health and infrastructure.

The partnership shows no signs of abating and has become even more crucial, following insistence from the Trump administration that India should contribute more to peace and security efforts in the country.

Meanwhile, China is also looking to muscle into Afghanistan and play a more prominent role in the country. This is not surprising. It already has tens of billions of dollars invested in Pakistan’s infrastructure sector through its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and sees an entry into Afghanistan as a natural extension of the program.

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