In a first on joint collaboration in Afghanistan, India and China will train Afghan diplomats from mid-October this year, government sources said. This was one of the major concrete takeaways after the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Wednesday.
The genesis for this joint collaboration was agreed upon during the meeting between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Wuhan summit in April this year. This is the first time New Delhi and Beijing are undertaking a joint collaboration in Afghanistan in recent times.
“The cooperation with China on Afghanistan is going to be in the sector of training of diplomats. Part of the training will take place at the Foreign Service Training Institute in New Delhi, while the other part will take place in Beijing,” the source said.
Sources said that Modi raised the issue of seven abducted Indians in Afghanistan, who have gone missing since May this year. Ghani told Modi that he was “personally monitoring” the progress in securing the release of the Indian engineers who were abducted, the sources said.
Ghani briefed Modi on initiatives by his government towards peace and reconciliation and also in confronting the challenges of terrorism and extremism imposed on Afghanistan and its people, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Sources said Ghani shared his assessment of the security situation in Ghazni province and expressed confidence that his government and the Afghan security forces will be able to handle the situation there.
“The Prime Minister reiterated India’s support to an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace and reconciliation process that would enable Afghanistan to continue as a united, peaceful, inclusive and democratic nation and emerge as an economically vibrant country. The Prime Minister emphasised India’s unwavering commitment to support the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan to this end, as also for the security and sovereignty of Afghanistan. He unequivocally condemned terrorist attacks and violence in Afghanistan which have caused immense loss of precious human lives and expressed solidarity with the people and national defence forces of Afghanistan in their fight against terrorism,” the official statement by MEA said.
The two leaders reviewed the progress of the multi-faceted India-Afghanistan strategic partnership.