12:20 GMT27 July 2021
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    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed during the informal Wuhan summit earlier this year to take up joint projects in third countries - an announcement that surprised the world, as the two sides had just emerged from a bitter military standoff in Doklam.

    Following the successful conduct of a joint project entailing the training of Afghani diplomats, India has indicated its willingness to take up more joint projects with China in rebuilding Afghanistan.

    While the Afghani diplomats have completed their training in New Delhi, the second phase of the training program is currently underway in China's Foreign Affairs University.

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    "We are hopeful that in the months to come we will be able to identify more specific projects which can be jointly done by Government of India and Government of China for the benefit of Afghanistan as desired by the government and people of Afghanistan," Acquino Vimal, India's deputy ambassador in Beijing, said while addressing the inaugural event of the training. 

    The training was part of an understanding struck during the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping held in April in China's Wuhan city. 

    Going by the statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Beijing, India has spent $3 billion on the development of Afghanistan in the last 17 years.  

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    "India and Afghanistan are close neighbours as well as strategic and development partners. All efforts of India as a development partner of Afghanistan have been based on the priorities set by the government and people of Afghanistan. This has been our fundamental basis for any development partnership," the deputy ambassador added.

    India and China are also discussing joint projects in countries such as Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Myanmar, and even Iran.


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