Foreign relations of Afghanistan

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Foreign relations of Afghanistan are handled by the nation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is headed by Mohammad Hanif Atmar. He answers to, and receives guidance from, the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani.


The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has close and friendly relations with a number of countries around the world, including: Turkey, United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Italy, India, China, Canada, United Arab Emirates and many others.


Before the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan pursued a policy of neutrality and nonalignment rein its foreign relations, being one of a few independent nations to stay neutral in both World War I and World War II. In international forums, Afghanistan generally followed the voting patterns of Asian and African non-aligned countries. During the 1950s and 1960s, Afghanistan was able to use the Russian and American need for allies during the Cold War as a way to receive economic assistance from both countries. However, given that unlike Russia, America refused to give extensive military aid to the country, the government of Daoud Khan developed warmer ties with the USSR while officially remaining non-aligned. Following the coup of April 1978, the government under Nur Muhammad Taraki developed significantly closer ties with the Soviet Union and its communist satellites.

After the December 1979 Soviet invasion, Afghanistan's foreign policy mirrored that of the Soviet Union. Afghan foreign policymakers attempted, with little success, to increase their regime's low standing in the noncommunist world. With the signing of the Geneva Accords, President Najibullah unsuccessfully sought to end the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan's isolation within the Islamic world and in the Non-Aligned Movement.

Most Western countries, including the United States, maintained small diplomatic missions in the capital city of Kabul during the Soviet occupation. Many countries subsequently closed their missions due to instability and heavy fighting in Kabul after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.

Many countries initially welcomed the introduction of the Taliban regime, who they saw as a stabilising, law-enforcing alternative to the warlords who had ruled the country since the fall of Najibullah's government in 1992. The Taliban soon became alienated of those countries' positive feelings with knowledge of the harsh Sharia law being enforced in Taliban-controlled territories spreading around the world. The brutality towards women who attempted to work, learn, or leave the house without a male escort caused outside aid to the war-torn country to be limited.

Following the October 2001 American invasion and the Bonn Agreement the new government under the leadership of Hamid Karzai started to re-establish diplomatic relationships with many countries who had held close diplomatic relations before the communist coup d'état and the subsequent civil war.

The Afghan government is focused on securing continued assistance for rebuilding the economy, infrastructure, and military of the country. It has continued to maintain close ties with North America, the European Union, South Korea, Japan, Australia, India, China, Russia and the Greater Middle East as well as African nations. It also seeks to establish relations with more South American or Latin American nations. In late 2011, relations between Afghanistan and Dominican Republic were established.

Bilateral relations

CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Albania.svg  Albania [1]


CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Cairo.
  • Egypt has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
  • Afghanistan does not have an accreditation to South Africa.
  • South Africa is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.


CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Argentina from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States.
  • Argentina is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. [2]
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1952
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Brazil from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States.
  • Brazil is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada See Afghanistan–Canada relations
Canadian Ambassador William Crosbie makes remarks during the opening of the refurbished Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Kabul on 9 May 2011. William Crosbie speaking in May 2011.jpg
Canadian Ambassador William Crosbie makes remarks during the opening of the refurbished Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Kabul on 9 May 2011.

The September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S. prompted Canada to re-evaluate its policies toward Afghanistan. The Minister of National Defence Art Eggleton advised Governor General Adrienne Clarkson to authorize more than 100 Canadian Forces members serving on military exchange programs in the United States and other countries to participate in U.S. operations in Afghanistan. Although not participating in the opening days of the invasion, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced on 7 October that Canada would contribute forces to the international force being formed to conduct a campaign against terrorism. General Ray Henault, the Chief of the Defence Staff, issued preliminary orders to several Canadian Forces units, as Operation Apollo was established. The Canadian commitment was originally planned to last to October 2003.

  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Ottawa and consulates-general in Toronto and Vancouver.
  • Canada has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Chile from its embassy in Washington D.C., United States.
  • Chile does not have an accreditation to Afghanistan.
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Colombia from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States.
  • Colombia is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in New Delhi, India.
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 27 June 1961See Afghanistan–Mexico relations
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Mexico from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States. [3]
  • Mexico is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Tehran, Iran. [4]
Flag of the United States.svg  United States See Afghanistan–United States relations
U.S. President George W. Bush with wife Laura Bush welcoming Afghan President Hamid Karzai at Camp David on 5 August 2007. Arrival of Hamid Karzai at Camp David in USA.jpg
U.S. President George W. Bush with wife Laura Bush welcoming Afghan President Hamid Karzai at Camp David on 5 August 2007.

Official diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and the United States began in the 1920s, although contact between the two nations was made in the late 1830s with the visit of Josiah Harlan. [5] Residing in Tehran, William Harrison Hornibrook served as a non-resident U.S. Envoy (Minister Plenipotentiary) to Afghanistan from 1935 to 1936. [6]

The United States established its first official Kabul Legation in 1942, which was elevated to the Kabul Embassy in 1948. Louis Goethe Dreyfus, who previously served as Minister Plenipotentiary, became the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from 1949 to 1951. [6] The first official Afghanistan Ambassador to the United States was Habibullah Khan Tarzi who served from 1948 to 1953.

Since the 1950s the U.S. extended an economic assistance program focused on the development of Afghanistan's physical infrastructure which included roads, dams, and power plants. Later, U.S. aid shifted from infrastructure projects to technical assistance programs to help develop the skills needed to build a modern economy. Dwight D. Eisenhower visited Kabul in December 1959, becoming the first U.S. president to travel to Afghanistan. The Peace Corps was active in Afghanistan between 1962 and 1979. During the early 1960s King of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, visited the United States and met with John F. Kennedy.

Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. Embassy of Afghanistan.JPG
Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C.

After the April 1978 coup, relations deteriorated. In February 1979, U.S. Ambassador Adolph "Spike" Dubs was murdered in Kabul after security forces burst in on his kidnappers. The U.S. then reduced bilateral assistance and terminated a small military training program. All remaining assistance agreements were ended after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Following the Soviet invasion, the United States supported diplomatic efforts to achieve a Soviet withdrawal. In addition, generous U.S. contributions to the refugee program in Pakistan played a major part in efforts to assist Afghans in need. U.S. efforts also included helping Afghans living inside Afghanistan. This cross-border humanitarian assistance program aimed at increasing Afghan self-sufficiency and helping Afghans resist Soviet attempts to drive civilians out of the rebel-dominated countryside. During the period of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S. provided about $3 billion in military and economic assistance to the Afghan Mujahideens.

Following the September 11 attacks, the United States launched an attack on the Taliban government as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following the overthrow of the Taliban, the U.S. supported the new Karzai administration and continues to station 100,000 of U.S. troops in the country. Their aim is to help the new government of President Hamid Karzai establish authority across Afghanistan and hunt down insurgents that are launching attacks.

The United States is also the leading nation in the rebuilding or reconstruction of Afghanistan. It has been providing multi-billion US dollars in weapons and aid, as well as infrastructure development. [7] In 2005, the United States and Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership agreement committing both nations to a long-term relationship. [8] U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on 1 March 2006. Hamid Karzai is hailed as an example of a great leader by most U.S. politicians, universities and media outlets every time he visits the United States. Although, the U.S. military is to remain in Afghanistan until the end of 2014, U.S. officials have offered to remain longer if the Afghan people wanted them. [9] [10]


CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan 16 November 1994The two countries established diplomatic relations on 16 November 1994 [11]
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Baku.
  • Azerbaijan to build its embassy in Kabul in the near future. [12]
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China See Afghanistan–China relations
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Beijing.
  • China has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of India.svg  India See Afghanistan–India relations

India has traditionally enjoyed friendly relations with Afghanistan. Despite that, India supported the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Relations deteriorated after the Taliban took power in 1996. India unofficially supported the Northern Alliance minority groups against the Pakistani-backed Taliban. During the course of the hijack of Indian Airlines Flight 814 in 1999, the Taliban requested recognition by India in exchange for help in negotiations. The request was not acted upon by the Indian government. After the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, India strengthened ties with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by establishing consulates in most major Afghan cities.

India has participated in multiple socio-economic reconstruction efforts, including power, roads, agricultural and educational projects. Some of these include building dozens of dams and reservoirs, a number of hospitals or clinics, schools and government institutions. The long road from Bandar-Abbas in southern Iran to highway 1 in southern Afghanistan is carried out by state-owned Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the mission statement of which states that the BRO is India's "most reputed, multifaceted, transnational, modern construction organization committed to meeting the strategic needs of the armed forces." The killing of a BRO employee by the neo-Taliban in 2005 [13] prompted the Indian authorities to dispatch approximately 200 Indo-Tibetan Border Police commandos to in 2006 to provide security for Indians working in various construction projects in Afghanistan.

Political contacts between India and Afghanistan have increased in 2011, especially after the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. During Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's May 2011 visit to Kabul, it was announced that India's total aid to Afghanistan reached $2 billion after a package of $500 million was added. [14] There are also military ties between Afghanistan and India, which is expected to increase after the October 2011 strategic pact that was signed by President Karzai and Manmohan Singh. [15] [16] [17] India's the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Afghanistan.

Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia See Afghanistan–Indonesia relations
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Jakarta.
  • Indonesia has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran See Afghanistan–Iran relations

Afghanistan's relations with Iran have fluctuated over the last decades, with periodic disputes over the water rights of the Helmand River as one of the main issues of contention. [18] Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian Revolution, relations deteriorated. Iran supported the cause of the Afghan resistance and provided limited assistance to the ethnic Hazara rebel leaders who pledged loyalty to the Iranian Revolution. After the emergence of the Taliban, Iran stepped up assistance to the Northern Alliance minority ethnic groups. Iran did not have any form of relations with the Taliban. In 1998, when the Taliban captured the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, several Iranian diplomats were executed on espionage charges.

Since 2002, the new Afghan government has engaged in cordial relations with both Iran and the United States, even as relations between Iran and the United States have grown strained due to American objections to Iran's nuclear program. While Iran is helping to develop the Afghan Shia communities, the NATO officials have been accusing Iran of secretly arming and training the Taliban insurgents. [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] Iran is accused of playing a double game in Afghanistan, a helper to the Afghan Shias and a destabilizer for the larger Sunni Afghans. [24] [25] In 2010, several high-level Iranian officials openly voiced for a failed Afghanistan. [26]

Ties between Afghanistan and Iran became strained in recent years due to Iran's toughened immigration policy, hastening the repatriation of many Afghan asylum seekers. [27] Although Iran has hosted large numbers of Afghan refugees since the early 1980s, it is seeking to repatriate the remaining ones back to Afghanistan as soon as possible. [28] [29] A number of Afghans were executed by hanging in the streets of Iran, which sparked angry demonstrations in Afghanistan. [30] Between 2010 and 2011, Afghan and Iranian security forces were involved in border skirmish in Nimroz Province of Afghanistan. [31] In July 2011, Iran decided to cut off electricity exports to Afghanistan's Nimroz Province. [32] There are constant reports about Iran's Revolutionary Guards training Afghans inside Iran to carry out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. [33]

"Currently, the Revolutionary Guards recruit young people for terrorist activities in Afghanistan and try to revive the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar and Taliban groups" [33]

Syed Kamal, a self-confessed agent for Iran's Revolutionary Guards and member of Sipah-i-Mohmmad
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Baghdad.
  • Iraq has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel See Afghanistan–Israel relations

No formal relations between Afghanistan and Israel exist, however, leaders of both nations have met on numerous occasions.

Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1931See Afghanistan–Japan relations
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Tokyo.
  • Japan has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Nur-Sultan and a consulate-general in Almaty.
  • Kazakhstan has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Bishkek.
  • Kyrgyzstan has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia
  • Afghanistan has a resident embassy in Kuala Lumpur
  • Malaysia is represented in Afghanistan by its embassy (high commission) in New Delhi
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea 26 December 1973Afghanistan and North Korea established diplomatic relations on 26 December 1973. [34]
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan See Afghanistan–Pakistan relations
Bismullah Mohammadi, Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and Stanley A. McChrystal, gather for a group photo with senior military and diplomatic representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States prior to the 29th Tripartite Commission held at NATO International Security Assistance Forces Headquarters, Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghan-Pakistani-NATO.jpg
Bismullah Mohammadi, Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and Stanley A. McChrystal, gather for a group photo with senior military and diplomatic representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States prior to the 29th Tripartite Commission held at NATO International Security Assistance Forces Headquarters, Kabul, Afghanistan.

Afghanistan began diplomatic ties with Pakistan in 1947, when Pakistan became an independent state after the Partition of India. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Balochistan have long complicated Afghanistan's relations with Pakistan. Controversies involving these areas date back to the establishment of the Durand Line border in 1893 which divided the Pashtun and Baloch tribes. Although shown on most maps as the western international border of Pakistan, it is unrecognized by Afghanistan. [35] [36] From September 1961 to June 1963, diplomatic relations, trade, transit, and consular services were suspended by Pakistan.

The April 1978 Marxist revolution further strained relations between the two states. Pakistan took the lead diplomatically in the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in opposing the Soviet invasion. It feared that after Afghanistan the Soviets would then enter Pakistani territory, especially the Balochistan region next to the oil-riched Persian Gulf. The United States was more fearing that Soviet reach to the Persian Gulf would threaten or suspend Arab oil supply so it began Operation Cyclone to provide billions of dollars to Pakistan for the training of Mujahideen against the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The United States and Saudi Arabia provided as much as $40 billion to Pakistan. [37] [38] Supported and funded by the UNHCR, about 3 million Afghan refugees were allowed to stay in Pakistan, most of them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. [39]

Pakistan developed closer ties with the Taliban government in 1996, which it believed would offer strategic depth in any future conflict with India, and extended recognition in 1997. Following Operation Enduring Freedom in late 2001, when the Taliban government was toppled, Pakistan recognized the new Karzai administration and offered around $250 million in aid for reconstruction of the war-torn country. This includes the rebuilding and expansion of the major roads linking Afghanistan with Pakistan, the construction of Jinnah Hospital in Kabul and the Allama Iqbal Faculty of Arts building at Kabul University.

Much of Afghanistan has long relied on Pakistani links for trade and travel to the outside world, and Pakistan views Afghanistan as its primary route for trade with Central Asia. In late 2010, the long-awaited Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Act (APTTA) was finally signed by the two states. It took effect in June 2011, which is intended to improve economic ties. [40] As of 2011, Afghan-Pakistani political ties continue to decline from bad to worst. This is mainly due to the recent Afghanistan–Pakistan border skirmishes, escalating Taliban insurgency which is alleged to be supported and guided by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy network, [41] and the growing influence of its rival India in Afghanistan. [15]

Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
  • Afghanistan is accredited to the Philippines from its embassy in Tokyo, Japan.
  • The Philippines is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia See Afghanistan–Saudi Arabia relations

Saudi Arabia has exerted a strong influence on Afghanistan, and was one of the major provider of funds to the mujahideen fighters against the Soviets. Saudi Arabia was also the second of only three countries to recognize the Taliban government, extending official recognition on 26 May 1997, one day after Pakistan and shortly before the United Arab Emirates. [42] After the removal of Taliban, Saudi Arabia is one of the major helpers in the Afghan reconstruction. For example, the main highway project is funded mainly by the US and Saudi Arabia. The largest mosque in Afghanistan was also financed by Saudi Arabia.

  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Riyadh and a consulate-general in Jeddah.
  • Saudi Arabia has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Singapore from its embassy in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Singapore does not have an accreditation to Afghanistan.
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea See Afghanistan–South Korea relations

High-level Exchanges From Afghanistan to the South Korea 2010 Mar Farahi (Deputy Foreign Minister) 2012 Nov Ludin (Deputy Foreign Minister) 2013 Feb Khalili (2nd Vice President) 2013 Jul Najafi (Minister of Transport) 2013 Aug Raheen (Minister of Culture) 2013 Oct Sangin (Minister of Telecommunication). [43]

  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Seoul.
  • South Korea has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan 1992See Afghanistan–Tajikistan relations
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Dushanbe and a consulate-general in Kharogh.
  • Tajikistan has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 1921 [44] See Afghanistan–Turkey relations

Afghanistan was the second country to recognize the Republic of Turkey on 1 March 1923, after the Soviet Union, establishing diplomatic contacts whilst the Turkish War of Independence was still being waged. Talks held in Moscow on 1 March 1921 resulted in the Turkey-Afghanistan Alliance Agreement and a period of intense cooperation. In 1937, shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey signed the Treaty of Saadabad.

Since the 1920s Turkey enjoyed its prestige in Afghanistan. [ citation needed ] Both countries established education and cultural exchange programs. Inside Afghanistan Turkish schools were established. Furthermore, Turkish army officers assisted or even commanded the training of Afghan military members. The foreign relations of Afghanistan have changed so much politically, socially and economically. Today the relations between the two countries go beyond giving military education. In this respect it is noteworthy that this article handles the developments in the relationship between Afghanistan and Turkey in historical context. [46] [47] Afghan and Turkish relations spans several centuries, as many Turkic and Afghan peoples ruled vast areas of Central Asia and the Middle East particularly the Ghaznavids, Khalji, Timurid, Lodhi, Mughal, Afsharid, and Durrani empires. Throughout its long history, many Ottoman officials were in close contact with Afghan leaders even up until the early 20th century when the Ottoman administrator Ahmad Jamal Pasha went to Afghanistan where he worked on modernizing the Afghan Armed Forces. Turkey has participated in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since its inception with the deployment of 290- non-combatant support personnel in 2001 and has assumed command of ISAF II (June 2002-February 2003) and ISAF VII (February–August 2005). According to Turkish Parliamentary Deputy Burhan Kayatürk; Turkey, which has the goodwill of the Afghani people, "can help win the hearts and minds of the Afghani people", who, "like the Turkish soldiers", and, "steer them away from militancy by strengthening the infrastructure in education, health and industry". [48]

Turkish troops have not participated as combat forces but rather as logistical support and training Afghan personnel. Over 12,000 Afghan soldiers and police have been trained. [49]

Turkish construction firms have subsequently also become active in the country. [ citation needed ] Turkey is responsible for maintaining security around Kabul, providing training for the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police and have undertaken a number of reconstruction projects in the fields of education, health and agriculture in the province of Vardak. Turkey's support of the Bonn Agreement and the Afghan Constitution Commission resulted in an official visit to Turkey by Afghan President Hamid Karzai on 4 April 2002 and made a reciprocal visit to Afghanistan by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a short time later.

  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate-general in Istanbul.
  • Turkey has an embassy in Kabul and a consulate-general in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Ashgabat and a consulate-general in Mary.
  • Turkmenistan has an embassy in Kabul and consulates in Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif.
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates See Afghanistan–United Arab Emirates relations
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate-general in Dubai.
  • United Arab Emirates has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Tashkent and a consulate-general in Bukhara.
  • Uzbekistan has an embassy in Kabul and a consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Yemen from its embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Yemen does not have an accreditation to Afghanistan


CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia 5 September 1996
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Armenia from its embassy in Moscow, Russia.
  • Armenia is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Vienna.
  • Austria is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 12 July 1961
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Sofia.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Prague.
  • Czech Republic has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 26 January 1966See Afghanistan–Denmark relations

Denmark has 760 soldiers in Afghanistan, [50] operating without caveat and concentrated in Helmand province. [51] Relations between the two countries are friendly. [52] About 9578 Afghans live in Denmark. [53]

Diplomatic relations were established in 1947. [54] On 24 May 1967, an air service agreement was signed in Kabul. [55] On 2 March 1979, an agreement on a Danish loan to Afghanistan was signed. [56]

Since 2001, the Danish Defence has been involved in the War in Afghanistan as part of the ISAF. The Danish Defence with the British Armed Forces have been involved in clashes with the Taliban in the Helmand Province. Denmark had two of their F-16s in the Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan to support their forces in Afghanistan. [57] [58]

Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees is an organization, working in Afghanistan. The organization was created to support the Afghans, who had fled to Pakistan and Iran. [59] Danish assistance to Afghanistan amounts $80 million each year. [60] Since the fall of the Taleban in 2001, Denmark has supported Afghanistan with education and democratisation. [61] In 2005, the Folketing approved 670 million DKK, to the rebuilding of Afghanistan. [62]

On 28 January 2006, the Afghan president Hamid Karzai visited Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Marienborg, the summer residence of the Danish Prime Minister. [63] In September 2009, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Camp Bastion. [64] On 23 June 2010, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen visited Afghanistan, where he met Hamid Karzai. [65] On 10 January 2011, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul visited Denmark, to discuss bilateral relations. [66]

  • Afghanistan is accredited to Denmark from its embassy in Oslo, Norway.
  • Denmark has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 11 May 1956
  • Afghanistan recognized the Independence of Finland on 17 July 1928.
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Finland through its embassy in Oslo, Norway.
  • Finland has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of France.svg  France 1922See Afghanistan–France relations
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Paris. [67]
  • France has an embassy in Kabul. [68]
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 24 January 1916See Afghanistan-Germany relations
Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Germany, with Franz Josef Jung to his right and James L. Jones to his left. Msc 2009-Sunday, 8.30 - 11.00 Uhr-Zwez 006 Jung Jones Karzei.jpg
Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Germany, with Franz Josef Jung to his right and James L. Jones to his left.

The German-Afghan relationship is long and has been mostly cordial. In 1935 under prime minister Muhammad Hashim, Afghanistan established a close relationship with Germany, a distinct change of relations in comparison to its usual position between the Russian and British spheres of influence. Under this relationship, Afghanistan received German foreign aid and technical assistance, and also developed closer ties with Germany's allies, Italy, Spain and Japan. [69]

Many Afghan academics studied in Germany, many more sought refuge in Germany during the years of civil war. There has been significant cultural exchange over the years. Several of the best secondary schools in Kabul are founded and supported by the German government. The number of Afghans in Germany is about 90,000 but many others have been deported from there in the last decade. [70] [71] Germany remains one of the most significant donors of foreign aid and partners in the rebuilding of Afghanistan. The Bonn agreement deals with the post Taliban governance of Afghanistan.

  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Berlin and consulates-general in Bonn and Munich.
  • Germany has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 2004See Afghanistan–Greece relations
  • Diplomatic relations were established in 2004. [72]
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Athens.
  • Greece is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. [72]
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Budapest.
  • Hungary has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Iceland from its embassy in Oslo, Norway.
  • Iceland is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Oslo, Norway.
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy ~1919

Italian-Afghan relations have generally been positive, and Italy has served as a place of exile for two former Afghan kings, Amanullah Khan (deposed 1929) and Mohammed Zahir Shah (deposed 1973). Italy was among the first nations to recognise Afghanistan's sovereignty, along with Germany, Turkey, France, and Iran, following the 1919 recognition by the Soviet Union. [73]

Italy began to take on increased involvement (although on a relatively small scale) in 1935, as Afghanistan established closer relations with Germany, a key Italian ally. [69] Afghanistan maintained these ties throughout much of World War II, though it came under strong pressure from Moscow and London to expel the German and Italian diplomatic corps. [69]

  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Rome.
  • Italy has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 17 June 2013

Afghanistan was the first country who officially recognised the independence of the Republic of Kosovo on 18 February 2008. [74] Afghanistan and Kosovo established diplomatic relations on 17 June 2013. [75]

Flag of Norway.svg  Norway See Afghanistan–Norway relations
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Oslo.
  • Norway has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Warsaw.
  • Poland is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in New Delhi, India.
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 5 June 1958
  • Afghanistan is accredited to Romania from its embassy in Warsaw, Poland.
  • Romania is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia See Afghanistan–Russia relations
Hamid Karzai sitting with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev Dmitry Medvedev in Uzbekistan 11 June 2010-13.jpeg
Hamid Karzai sitting with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev

Afghanistan and Russia have shared a highly varied relationship from the mid-19th century to the modern day. For decades, Russia and Britain struggled for influence in Afghanistan, strategically positioned between their two empires, in what became known as "The Great Game". Following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the new Soviet Union established more cordial relations with Afghanistan, and in 1919 became the first country to recognise Afghan sovereignty. [73]

Relations between the two nations became complicated following the 1978 communist coup known as the Saur Revolution. The new communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was highly dependent on the Soviet Union, and the Soviet support for the widely disliked communist regime, and the ensuing Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, led to a great hatred for the Soviets in much of the Afghan population. The Soviets occupied Afghanistan in the face of a bitter ten-year insurgency before withdrawing in 1989. Even following the withdrawal of Soviet forces, the Soviet Union provided massive support to the embattled DRA government, reaching a value of $3 billion a year in 1990. However, this relationship dissolved in 1991 along with the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself. On 13 September 1991, the Soviet government, now dominated by Boris Yeltsin, agreed with the United States on a mutual cut off of military aid to both sides in the Afghan civil war beginning on 1 January 1992. The post-coup Soviet government then attempted to develop political relations with the Afghan resistance. In mid-November it invited a delegation of the resistance's Afghanistan Interim Government (AIG) to Moscow where the Soviets agreed that a transitional government should prepare Afghanistan for national elections. The Soviets did not insist that Najibullah or his colleagues participate in the transitional process. Having been cut adrift both materially and politically, Najibullah's faction torn government began to fall apart, and the city of Kabul fell to the Mujahideen factions in April 1992.

In 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that he wanted to be more involved in Afghanistan, supporting development of infrastructure and the army. This came as relations between Afghan President Karzai and American President Obama reached a low.

  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Kabul and a consulate-general in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
  • Afghanistan does not have an accreditation to Serbia.
  • Serbia is accredited to Afghanistan from its embassy in New Delhi, India.
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain See Afghanistan–Spain relations
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Madrid.
  • Spain has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Kabul.
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 1921See Afghanistan–United Kingdom relations

British interest involves the protection of India, especially from Russia—a contest called The Great Game in the late 19th century. A series of Anglo-Afghan wars between 1839 and 1919 have historically shaped the backdrop for relations between Afghanistan and the United Kingdom. After nearly a century of Anglo-Indian influence in Afghanistan, the state was declared independent in 1919. The United Kingdom did not contribute nor actively oppose the communist led Saur Revolution, it opposed the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and had no involvement in the series of civil wars that followed the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. [76]

  • Afghanistan has an embassy in London.
  • United Kingdom has an embassy in Kabul.


CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 1969
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand

United Nations

During the Soviet occupation, the United Nations was highly critical of the U.S.S.R.'s interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and was instrumental in obtaining a negotiated Soviet withdrawal under the terms of the Geneva Accords.

In the aftermath of the Accords and subsequent Soviet withdrawal, the United Nations has assisted in the repatriation of refugees and has provided humanitarian aid such as health care, educational programs, and food and has supported mine-clearing operations. The UNDP and associated agencies have undertaken a limited number of development projects. However, the UN reduced its role in Afghanistan in 1992 in the wake of fierce factional strife in and around Kabul. The UN Secretary General has designated a personal representative to head the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan (UNOCHA) and the Special Mission to Afghanistan (UNSMA), both based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Throughout the late 1990s, 2000, and 2001, the UN unsuccessfully strived to promote a peaceful settlement between the Afghan factions as well as provide humanitarian aid, this despite increasing Taliban restrictions upon UN personnel and agencies.

See also

Related Research Articles

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