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Joint Indo-China project to train Afghan envoys to begin in October

India and China had agreed to train diplomats from Afghanistan during Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping’s informal summit in China’s Wuhan in April.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2018 23:21 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India-China project,Afghan diplomats,Narendra Modi
The project was discussed at a meeting between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

A joint India-China project for training Afghan diplomats will begin next month. The two countries had agreed to train the diplomats during Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping’s informal summit in China’s Wuhan in April.

The project was discussed at a meeting between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday. The diplomats will be first trained at New Delhi’s Foreign Service Institute before they travel to Beijing for the next training phase, a person familiar with the issues discussed at the meeting said.

India would discuss further joint cooperation with China in Afghanistan, which could involve socio-economic projects or opening of a school.

Officials said Ghani spoke in detail about the security-situation in Afghanistan at the meeting. He briefed Modi about the terrorist attack in Ghazni in August, increased presence of Islamic State (IS) fighters and the peace process with the Taliban.

Ghani is learnt to have shared Afghan interior ministry’s finding about the involvement of Pakistani nationals in the Ghazni attack.

India believes the IS is a major concern, but the biggest threat to Afghanistan’s security comes from the Taliban.

India has been pointing out that most of the IS fighters are those, who have returned from Iraq and Syria.

Ghani, who was here for a day-long visit amid efforts to bring lasting peace to Afghanistan, was quoted as maintaining that with international support, he is confident of addressing the security challenges in his country.

Modi raised the issue of seven Indians kidnapped in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province. “Ghani assured him that he is personally monitoring the efforts to secure their release,’’ an official said on condition of anonymity.

The two leaders agreed to speed up the building of Shahtoot Dam project that is expected to provide drinking water to over two million residents of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Modi reiterated India’s commitment to settling Afghan refugees returning to their country. Ghani sought India’s help in sectors such as gem stones, food processing and export of marble to India.

Ghani briefed Modi on initiatives his government had taken towards peace and reconciliation and also in confronting the challenges of terrorism and extremism.

“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,’’ a statement issued after the meeting said.

Ghani appreciated New Delhi’s continuing help.

First Published: Sep 19, 2018 23:21 IST

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