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Beijing hails Sino-Indian cooperation as training of Afghan diplomats begins

The Joint India-China Training Programme for Afghan Diplomats from October 15 to 26 is part of a consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their first-ever informal summit in the city of Wuhan in central China.

world Updated: Oct 16, 2018 11:44 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Afghanistan diplomats,India-China ties,Sino-India ties
Afghan diplomats at the inauguration of the Joint India-China Training Programme in New Delhi .(Twitter/ANI Photo)

India and China’s decision to jointly train diplomats from Afghanistan marks a beginning by the two countries to work together in new areas, the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) said soon after the trilateral project was inaugurated in New Delhi on Monday.

Ten Afghan diplomats who began training in New Delhi on Monday will later travel to China to be tutored in diplomacy in the second stage.

“This project marks the formal start of Sino-Indian-Afghanistan cooperation and the development of Sino-Indian cooperation in new areas,” the MFA said in a statement emailed to the Hindustan Times.

“The Afghan diplomats will receive training in India and China one after another,” the statement added.

The project also “shows the willingness and efforts of China and India as responsible big countries to work together to promote regional peace and stability,” the MFA statement added.

The Joint India-China Training Programme for Afghan Diplomats from October 15 to 26 is part of a consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their first-ever informal summit in the city of Wuhan in central China.

“During the informal summit in Wuhan, President Xi Jinping and PM Narendra Modi agreed to strengthen policy coordination in surrounding regions and discussed developing “Sino-India+Plus” cooperation,” the statement added.

“The two leaders agreed to maintain communication and coordination on the issue of Afghanistan jointly promote peace, stability and development in Afghanistan,” it said.

The statement added that in order to implement the consensus made by the leaders -- after negotiating with Afghanistan -- China and India officially launched the project.

“The Afghan diplomats attending the training program felt elated and excited to undertake the first-of-its-kind training programme which, they said, would help them in understanding the issues confronting their country from an international perspective,” China’s official news agency, Xinhua, reported.

Jahan Zeb Salimankhil, a serving Afghan diplomat told Xinhua that it was a good and unique experience for them.

“It is a unique experience for all ten of us, of undertaking training at India’s ‘Foreign Service Institute’. It is all the more important as this is a joint training programme of India and China, the two great countries in this part of the world.”

According to Salimankhil, after completing this training in New Delhi, they will go to China to undertake a similar ten-day long training programme.

Last month, diplomatic sources had told HT that decision by India and China had disappointed Afghanistan as Kabul was expecting a large-scale one that could directly impact the lives of the people in a country ravaged by war.

India had, in fact, conceded China’s request to jointly implement a limited ‘capacity building’ project to opt for a smaller project in Afghanistan, possibly to assuage its ally Pakistan’s misgivings.

First Published: Oct 16, 2018 11:44 IST