Afghanistan Current Affairs - 2019

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2nd Joint India-China Capacity Building Programme for Afghan Diplomats

The 2nd Joint India-China Capacity Building Programme for Afghan Diplomats is being held at External Affairs Ministry’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in New Delhi from 11-23 November as part of both countries efforts to work together for development of war-torn Afghanistan. India-China are also looking at other areas to cooperate in Afghanistan.

Key Highlights

10 young diplomats from Afghanistan are participating the course. So far a total of 179 Afghan diplomats had been trained at FSI, more than any other country.

The participants would get an exposure to modern India’s economic and technological developments and would also undertake study tours to experience India’s cultural heritage. The diplomats will undertake study tours in India before travelling to China for further training.

The intensive two-week course would include training modules on various topics covering India’s foreign policy, diplomatic skills, multilateral diplomacy and key international issue. The course is part of India-China joint projects in third countries.

Background

The 1st Joint India-China Capacity Building Programme for Afghan diplomats was held at elite Foreign Service Institute (FSI) from 15 to 26 October 2018 as part of an understanding reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Wuhan Informal Summit (2018) where two countries decided to work together on programmes for Afghanistan. The first batch containing 10 Afghan diplomats was trained in 2018 at FSI.

EU calls for ceasefire in Afghanistan

The officials of European Union (EU) have called for a ceasefire in Afghanistan, stating that the breakdown in talks between United States and Taliban presented an opportunity to push anew for a truce (an agreement to end the fighting). In September 2019, citing a Taliban attack that killed a US soldier, US President Donald Trump declared talks with insurgents ‘dead’.

Key Highlights

A ceasefire called by EU would be a token, a guarantee of goodwill and good preparation for normalisation of these relationships. EU also believes that in coming months, Taliban might return to power in one form or another so the move would would entertain a truce to help normalise future relations with European bloc.

EU special envoy for Afghanistan, Roland Kobia, stated that the US-Taliban talks’ collapse provide a chance to push for a ceasefire and is the right moment and right opportunity to go one step ahead of a simple reduction in violence and explore ways in which ceasefire will take place.

European Union officials stated that US can reduce its force in Afghanistan to 8,600 without hurting counterterrorism fight against Al-Qaida and Islamic State group. US has nearly 4,000 American troops in Afghanistan as part of US-led coalition. Moreover, the aim is to still get a peace agreement at some point and any withdrawal would happen as part of a peace agreement with Taliban.