Foreign relations of Afghanistan

Foreign relations of Afghanistan

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The foreign relations of Afghanistan, like those of any country, have changed along with the political, sociological, and economic state of the various parts of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

.

Overview


Before the Soviet invasion
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

, Afghanistan pursued a policy of neutrality
Neutral country
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

 and nonalignment in its foreign relations, being one of a few independent nations to stay neutral in both World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. In international forums, Afghanistan generally followed the voting patterns of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n non-aligned countries. During the 1950s and 60s, Afghanistan was able to use the Russian
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 need for allies during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 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 Dao ud Khan
Mohammed Daoud Khan
Sardar Mohammed Daoud Khan or Daud Khan was Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1953 to 1963 and later becoming the President of Afghanistan...

 developed warmer ties with the USSR while officially remaining non-aligned. Following the Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 coup of April 1978
Saur Revolution
The Saur Revolution is the name given to the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan takeover of political power from the government of Afghanistan on 28 April 1978. The word 'Saur', i.e...

, the government under Nur Muhammad Taraki
Nur Muhammad Taraki
Nur Muhammad Taraki was an Afghan politician and statesman during the Cold War. Taraki was born near Kabul and educated at Kabul University, after which he started his political career as a journalist...

 developed significantly closer ties with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and its communist satellite
Satellite state
A satellite state is a political term that refers to a country that is formally independent, but under heavy political and economic influence or control by another country...

s.

After the December 1979 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
Geneva accords
The Geneva Accords, known formally as the agreements on the settlement of the situation relating to Afghanistan, were signed on 14 April 1988 between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the United States and the Soviet Union serving as guarantors....

, President Najibullah
Mohammad Najibullah
Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai , originally merely Najibullah, was the fourth and last President of the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is also considered the second President of the Republic of Afghanistan.-Early years:Najibullah was born in August 1947 to the Ahmadzai...

 unsuccessfully sought to end the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a government of Afghanistan between 1978 and 1992. It was both ideologically close to and economically dependent on the Soviet Union, and was a major belligerent of the Afghan Civil War.- Saur Revolution :...

's isolation within the Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic world and in the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

.

Most Western countries, including the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, maintained small diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

ic missions in the capital city of Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 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, who they saw as a stabilizing, law-enforcing alternative to the warlord
Warlord
A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...

s 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
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 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.

Repeated Taliban efforts to occupy Afghanistan's seat at the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and OIC were unsuccessful. By 2000, only Pakistan
Foreign relations of Pakistan
Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country in terms of population , and its status as a declared nuclear power, being the only Islamic nation to have that status, plays a part in its international role....

, Saudi Arabia
Foreign relations of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is a non-aligned state whose foreign policy objectives are to maintain its security and its paramount position on the Arabian Peninsula, defend general Arab and Islamic interests, promote solidarity among Islamic governments, and maintain cooperative relations with other oil-producing...

, and the United Arab Emirates
Foreign relations of the United Arab Emirates
Since the establishment of the United Arab Emirates in 2 December 1971, UAE adopted a balanced foreign policy based on adoption of dialogue, respect of international conventions, commitment to the United Nations Charter and non-interference of other country's internal affairs, and the settlement of...

 recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. However, all three countries withdrew their recognition in the months following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

 in the United States.

Following the October 2001 American invasion and the Bonn Agreement
Bonn Agreement (Afghanistan)
Officially the Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-Establishment of Permanent Government Institutions, the Bonn Agreement was the initial series of agreements intended to re-create the State of Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in response to the...

 the new government under the leadership of Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 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 currently focused on securing continued assistance for rebuilding the economy, infrastructure, and military of the country. It has continued to maintain close ties with the United States, Pakistan, India, Iran, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, and the Islamic world.

Canada


The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks prompted Canada to re-evaluate its policies toward Afghanistan. The Minister of National Defence
Minister of National Defence
*Minister of National Defence *Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China*Ministry of National Defense *Ministry of National Defense *Minister of National Defence *Minister of National Defence...

 Art Eggleton
Art Eggleton
Arthur "Art" C. Eggleton, PC is a former Canadian Cabinet minister and Mayor of Toronto, and is currently a Senator representing Ontario.-City council:...

 advised Governor General Adrienne Clarkson
Adrienne Clarkson
Adrienne Louise Clarkson is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 26th since Canadian Confederation....

 to authorize more than 100 Canadian Forces members serving on military exchange programs in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and other countries to participate in U.S. operations in Afghanistan. Although not participating at all in the opening days of the invasion, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

 announced on October 7 that Canada would contribute forces to the international force being formed to conduct a campaign against terrorism. General Ray Henault
Ray Henault
General Raymond Roland Joseph Henault, CMM, MSC, CD is a retired Canadian Air Force officer. He was the Chief of the Defence Staff of Canada from June 28, 2001...

, the Chief of the Defence Staff
Chief of the Defence Staff (Canada)
The Chief of the Defence Staff is the second most senior member of the Canadian Forces, and heads the Armed Forces Council, having primary responsibility for command, control, and administration of the forces, as well as military strategy, plans, and requirements...

, issued preliminary orders to several CF units, as Operation Apollo
Operation APOLLO
Operation APOLLO was the codename for an operation conducted by Canadian Forces in support of the United States in its military operations in Afghanistan. The operation took place from October 2001 to October 2003...

 was established. The Canadian commitment was originally planned to last to October 2003.

Germany


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 and Japan.

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.

Germany remains one of the most significant donors of foreign aid and partners in the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

The Bonn agreement
Bonn Agreement (Afghanistan)
Officially the Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-Establishment of Permanent Government Institutions, the Bonn Agreement was the initial series of agreements intended to re-create the State of Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in response to the...

 for the post Taliban governance of Afghanistan was debated and signed in the former seat of government of Western Germany
Western Germany
The geographic term Western Germany is used to describe a region in the west of Germany. The exact area defined by the term is not constant, but it usually includes, but does not have the borders of, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse...

.

India


India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 has traditionally enjoyed friendly relations with the Afghan government and people. President Hamid Karzai graduated from a university in India. Despite that, India supported the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Relations deteriorated after the Taliban
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was founded in 1996 when the Taliban began their rule of Afghanistan and ended with their fall from power in 2001...

 took power in 1996. India "unofficially" supported the Afghan Northern Alliance against the Pakistani-backed Taliban. During the course of the hijack of Indian Airlines Flight 814
Indian Airlines Flight 814
Indian Airlines Flight 814 commonly known as IC 814 was an Indian Airlines Airbus A300 en route from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal to Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, India on Friday, December 24, 1999, when it was hijacked...

 in 1999, the Taliban requested recognition by India in exchange for help in negotiations. The request was not acted upon by the Indian government
Government of India
The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

. After the fall of the Taliban in late 3260, India strenghtened ties with the Islamic republic
Islamic republic
Islamic republic is the name given to several states in the Muslim world including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mauritania. Pakistan adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian...

 of Afghanistan by establishing embassies or consulates
Consul (representative)
The political title Consul is used for the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the peoples of the two countries...

 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 Organization (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 prompted the Indian authorities to dispatch approximately 200 Indo-Tibetan Border Police
Indo-Tibetan Border Police
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police is an Indian force conceived on October 24, 1962 for security along the India's border with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, border covering 2115  kilometres...

 commandos to in 2006 to provide security for Indians working in various construction projects in Afghanistan.

Contacts between India and Afghanistan have increased in 2011, especially after the death of Osama bin Laden
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

 in Pakistan. During Indian Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

 Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh is the 13th and current Prime Minister of India. He is the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term. A Sikh, he is the first non-Hindu to occupy the office. Singh is also the 7th Prime Minister belonging to the Indian...

'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. 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.

Iran



Afghanistan's relations with Iran have fluctuated over the years, with periodic disputes over the water rights of the Helmand River
Helmand River
The Helmand River is the longest river in Afghanistan and the primarily watershed for the endorheic Sistan Basin....

 as the main issue of contention. The two nations have limited ties in language and culture, as an eastern dialect of Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Dari
Dari (Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 is one of the official language in Afghanistan. The other major language is Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

, which is also the official and national language
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

 of the nation.

Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, relations deteriorated. The Iranian consulate in Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

 closed, as did the Afghan consulate in Mashad. Iran supported the cause of the Afghan resistance and provided limited assistance to Hazara rebel leaders who pledged loyalty to the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

. Although Iran has hosted large numbers of Afghan refugees
Afghans in Iran
Afghans in Iran are mostly refugees who fled Afghanistan during the 1980s Soviet war as well as diplomats, traders, businesspersons, workers, exchange students, tourists and other visitors. As of March 2009, nearly 1 million Afghan nationals were reported to be living in Iran...

 since the early 1980s, it is seeking to repatriate the remaining ones back to Afghanistan as soon as possible.

After the emergence of the Taliban
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was founded in 1996 when the Taliban began their rule of Afghanistan and ended with their fall from power in 2001...

, Iran stepped up assistance to the Afghan Northern Alliance. Relations with the Taliban deteriorated further in 1998 after Taliban forces seized the Iranian consulate in Mazari Sharif and executed several Iranian diplomats on espionage charges. Following this incident, Iran almost went to war with the Taliban by massing up troops and tanks on the border with Afghanistan. As a response, the Taliban immediately began gathering and recruiting large number of men along the border with Iran. Many foreign fighters from Pakistan and Arab nations were also arriving.
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 United States and others have been accusing Iran of supplying and training the Taliban insurgents. This means that Iran is playing a double role in Afghanistan, a helper to the Afghan Shias and a destabilizer for the larger Sunni Afghans. In July 2010, several high-level Iranian officials openly voiced for a failed Afghanistan.

In 2010, media reports appeared about Iranian politicians providing bags full of money to Afghan President every time he visited Iran. In late 2010, Iran decided to block petrolium to Afghanistan which raised prices of fuel by over 27% in Kabul.

Italy


Italian-Afghan relations have generally been positive, and Italy has served as a place of exile for two former Afghan kings, Amanullah Khan
Amanullah Khan
Amanullah Khan was the King of the Emirate of Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929, first as Amir and after 1926 as Shah. He led Afghanistan to independence over its foreign affairs from the United Kingdom, and his rule was marked by dramatic political and social change...

 (deposed 1929) and Mohammed Zahir Shah
Mohammed Zahir Shah
Mohammed Zahir Shah was the last King of Afghanistan, reigning for four decades, from 1933 until he was ousted by a coup in 1973...

 (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.

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. 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.

Pakistan



Afghanistan began diplomatic ties with Pakistan in 1947, after the Partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 and when Pakistan was created as a new state. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA
Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are a semi-autonomous tribal region in the northwest of Pakistan, lying between the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and the neighboring country of Afghanistan. The FATA comprise seven Agencies and six FRs...

 and Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 have long complicated Afghanistan's relations with Pakistan. Controversies involving these areas date back to the establishment of the Durand Line
Durand Line
The Durand Line refers to the porous international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has divided the ethnic Pashtuns . This poorly marked line is approximately long...

 border in 1893 which divided the Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 and Baloch
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

 tribes. Although shown on most maps as the western international
International
----International mostly means something that involves more than one country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries...

 border of Pakistan, it is unrecognized by Afghanistan. From September 1961 to June 1963, diplomatic relations, trade, transit, and consular services were suspended by Pakistan.

The April 1978 Marxist revolution
Saur Revolution
The Saur Revolution is the name given to the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan takeover of political power from the government of Afghanistan on 28 April 1978. The word 'Saur', i.e...

 further strained relations between the two states. Pakistan took the lead diplomatically in the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

, 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
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 was more fearing that Soviet reach to the Persian Gulf would threaten or suspend Arab oil supply so it began Operation Cyclone
Operation Cyclone
Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm, train, and finance the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989...

 to provide billions of dollars to Pakistan for the training of Mujahideen
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 against the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a government of Afghanistan between 1978 and 1992. It was both ideologically close to and economically dependent on the Soviet Union, and was a major belligerent of the Afghan Civil War.- Saur Revolution :...

. The United States and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 provided as much as $40 billion to Pakistan. Supported and funded by the UNHCR, about 3 million Afghan refugees
Afghans in Pakistan
Afghans in Pakistan are mostly refugees who fled Afghanistan during the 1980s Soviet war as well as diplomats, traders, businesspersons, workers, exchange students, tourists and other visitors. As of March 2009, some 1.7 million registered Afghan nationals were reported to be living in Pakistan,...

 were allowed to stay in Pakistan, most of them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pakistan developed closer ties with the Taliban government in 1996, which it believed would offer strategic depth
Strategic depth
Strategic depth is a term in military literature that broadly refers to the distances between the front lines or battle sectors and the combatants’ industrial core areas, capital cities, heartlands, and other key centers of population or military production...

 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
Jinnah Hospital
Jinnah Hospital is the second largest teaching hospital in the Pakistani province of Punjab spread over and with 1250 beds. It is the first autonomous hospital that has been properly built according to a premeditated design with three main areas...

 in Kabul and the Allama Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal
Sir Muhammad Iqbal , commonly referred to as Allama Iqbal , was a poet and philosopher born in Sialkot, then in the Punjab Province of British India, now in Pakistan...

 Faculty of Arts
building at Kabul University
Kabul University
Kabul University is located in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It was founded in 1931 but officially opened for classes in 1932. Kabul University is currently attended by approximately 7,000 students, of which 1,700 are women. As of 2008, Hamidullah Amin is the chancellor of the 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
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. 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. 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
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

 which is alleged to be supported and guided by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI) spy network, and the growing influence of its rival India in Afghanistan. Despite all of this, Afghan President Hamid Karzai labelled Pakistan as Afghanistan's "twin brother".

Russia


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
The Great Game
The Great Game or Tournament of Shadows in Russia, were terms for the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia. The classic Great Game period is generally regarded as running approximately from the Russo-Persian Treaty of 1813...

". 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.

Relations between the two nations became complicated following the 1978 communist coup known as the Saur Revolution
Saur Revolution
The Saur Revolution is the name given to the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan takeover of political power from the government of Afghanistan on 28 April 1978. The word 'Saur', i.e...

. The new communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a government of Afghanistan between 1978 and 1992. It was both ideologically close to and economically dependent on the Soviet Union, and was a major belligerent of the Afghan Civil War.- Saur Revolution :...

 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
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

 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
Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is the third President of the Russian Federation.Born to a family of academics, Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987. He defended his dissertation in 1990 and worked as a docent at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint...

 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.

Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia has exterted a strong influence on Afghanistan, and was one of the major provider of funds to the mujihadeen 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. After the removal of Taliban, Saudi Arabia is one of the major helper 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.

Turkey



Afghanistan was the second country to recognize the Republic of Turkey, after the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, establishing diplomatic contacts whilst the Turkish War of Independence
Turkish War of Independence
The Turkish War of Independence was a war of independence waged by Turkish nationalists against the Allies, after the country was partitioned by the Allies following the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I...

 was still being waged. Talks held in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 on March 1, 1921 resulted in the Turkey-Afghanistan Alliance Agreement and a period of intense cooperation.
In 1937, shortly before the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Afghanistan, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Turkey signed the Treaty of Saadabad
Treaty of Saadabad
The Treaty of Saadabad was a non-aggression pact signed by Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan on July 8, 1937. This treaty lasted for five years. The treaty was signed in Tehran's Saadabad Palace and was part of an initiative for greater Middle Eastern-Oriental relations spearheaded by King...

.

United States



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
Josiah Harlan
Josiah Harlan, Prince of Ghor was an American adventurer, best known for travelling to Afghanistan and Punjab with the intention of making himself a king. While there, he became involved in local politics and factional military actions, eventually winning the title Prince of Ghor in perpetuity for...

. Residing in Tehran, William Harrison Hornibrook served as a non-resident U.S. Envoy
Envoy (title)
In diplomacy, an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary is, under the terms of the Congress of Vienna of 1815, a diplomat of the second class, ranking between an Ambassador and a Minister Resident....

 (Minister Plenipotentiary) to Afghanistan from 1935 to 1936.

The United States established its first official Kabul Legation
Legation
A legation was the term used in diplomacy to denote a diplomatic representative office lower than an embassy. Where an embassy was headed by an Ambassador, a legation was headed by a Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary....

 in 1942, which was elevated to the Kabul Embassy
U.S. Embassy, Kabul
The Embassy of the United States in Kabul is the diplomatic mission of the United States in Afghanistan. It is located in the Wazir Akbar Khan section of the Afghan capital, Kabul, and is home to the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. Ryan Crocker is the current Ambassador. Richard Holbrooke, who died...

 in 1948. Louis Goethe Dreyfus, who previously served as Minister Plenipotentiary, became the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan
United States Ambassador to Afghanistan
The United States Ambassador to Afghanistan is the official representative of the President of the United States to the head of state of Afghanistan....

 from 1949 to 1951. The first official Afghanistan Ambassador to the United States was Habibullah Khan Tarzi
Habibullah Khan Tarzi
Ambassador Habibullah Khan Tarzi was head of the Afghan Delegation to Paris from 1923 to 1924. He served in that post to increase diplomatic/economic relations between France and Afghanistan. Tarzi would go on to play critical roles in the Afghan foreign affairs as the Temporary Representative to...

 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
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 visited Kabul in December 1959, becoming the first U.S. President to travel to Afghanistan. The Peace Corps
Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand US culture, and helping...

 was active in Afghanistan between 1962 and 1979. During the early 1960s former King of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, visited the United States and met with John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

.
After the April 1978 coup, relations deteriorated. In February 1979, U.S. Ambassador Adolph "Spike" Dubs
Adolph Dubs
Adolph "Spike" Dubs was the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan from May 13, 1978 until his death in 1979. He was killed in an exchange of fire after a kidnapping attempt.-Career:...

 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 Mujahideen
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

s.

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
Karzai administration
The Karzai administration is the official government of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai, who became the head of state of Afghanistan in December 2001, after the Taliban government was removed. He was appointed at the 2002 Loya Jirga as the Interim President of the Afghan Transitional...

 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
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 establish authority across Afghanistan and hunt down insurgent
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

s 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. In 2005, the United States and Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership agreement committing both nations to a long-term relationship. U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and First Lady
First Lady
First Lady or First Gentlemanis the unofficial title used in some countries for the spouse of an elected head of state.It is not normally used to refer to the spouse or partner of a prime minister; the husband or wife of the British Prime Minister is usually informally referred to as prime...

 Laura Bush
Laura Bush
Laura Lane Welch Bush is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. She was the First Lady of the United States from January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2009. She has held a love of books and reading since childhood and her life and education have reflected that interest...

 made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on March 1, 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 permanently if the Afghan people wanted them.

United Nations


During the Soviet occupation, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 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
Geneva accords
The Geneva Accords, known formally as the agreements on the settlement of the situation relating to Afghanistan, were signed on 14 April 1988 between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the United States and the Soviet Union serving as guarantors....

.

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
Demining
Demining or mine clearance is the process of removing either land mines, or naval mines, from an area, while minesweeping describes the act of detecting of mines. There are two distinct types of mine detection and removal: military and humanitarian.Minesweepers use many tools in order to accomplish...

 operations. The UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP operates in 177 countries, working with nations on their own solutions to...

 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
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, 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


External links