Foreign Relations

Afghanistan is an active member of the international community, and has diplomatic relations with countries around the world. In December 2002, the six nations that border Afghanistan signed a 'Good Neighbor' Declaration, in which they pledged to respect Afghanistan's independence and territorial integrity. Afghanistan and its South Asia neighbors meet annually at the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference (RECC), promoting intra-regional relations and economic cooperation.

With Pakistan

During the war against the Soviet occupation, Pakistan served as the primary logistical conduit for the Afghan resistance. Pakistan initially developed close ties to the Taliban regime, and extended recognition in 1997. However, after September 11, 2001 Pakistan altered its policy in support of coalition efforts to remove the Taliban. Although frictions and suspicions persist, Afghanistan and Pakistan are engaged in dialogue to resolve bilateral issues such as border security, immigration, and trade. Regular meetings are held at the head of state and ministerial levels through a trilateral dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan is also seeking to repatriate its Afghan refugee population, which is concentrated mostly in the Northwestern Frontier Province.

With India

Economically, it is a gateway to the oil and mineral rich Central Asian republics. Also, the massive reconstruction plans for the country offer a lot of opportunities for Indian companies.

Historically, apart from the five years of Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, India has enjoyed good to excellent cultural and economic relations with Afghanistan. Indian movies are reportedly a staple part of the Afghan culture, while Afghan shawls and dry fruits, among other things, come into India both legally and illegally.

An actively pro-Delhi regime in Kabul (at the moment, fierce warlords rule most other parts of the country) would rattle Islamabad, which has traditionally seen Afghanistan as its backyard.

With U.S.

After the fall of the Taliban, the U.S. supported the emergence of a broad-based government, representative of all Afghans, and actively encouraged a UN role in the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan. The U.S. has made a long-term commitment to help Afghanistan rebuild itself after years of war. The U.S. and others in the international community currently provide resources and expertise to Afghanistan in a variety of areas, including humanitarian relief and assistance, capacity-building, security needs, counter-narcotic programs, and infrastructure projects.

During his December 1, 2009 speech at West Point, President Barack Obama laid down the core of U.S. goals in Afghanistan, which are to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda and its safe havens in Pakistan, and to prevent their return to Afghanistan. While the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan is not open-ended, the United States plans to remain politically, diplomatically, and economically engaged in Afghanistan for the long term. The United States is willing to support fully the ambitious agenda set out by the recently re-elected Afghan president, focusing on reintegration, economic development, improving relations with Afghanistan’s regional partners, and steadily increasing the security responsibilities of Afghan security forces. Rapid progress on this agenda is important and requires international support. Toward this end, the U.S. is encouraging the Afghan Government to take strong actions to combat corruption and improve governance, and to provide better services for the people of Afghanistan, while maintaining and expanding on the important democratic reforms and advances in women’s rights that have been made since 2001.

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Shipments to Afghanistan

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