The Canadian government announced in February 2009 that it was adding Afghanistan to its list of preferred countries to receive foreign aid. This list includes 18 countries and the West Bank and Caribbean region.
Official relations between Afghanistan and Canada did not occur immediately, but developed over time. Canadians involvement in Afghanistan dates back to the 1960s, with the creation of the first Canadian development assistance program to Afghanistan. As the need for greater coordination of efforts by development agencies working there grew, Ottawa decided to establish full diplomatic relations with Afghanistan in 1968.
In 1971, Canadian aid to Afghanistan included 257 000 bushels of wheat, where drought had reduced production of cereal crops.
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan in 1979 and the installation of an undemocratic regime in Afghanistan led Canada to sever diplomatic ties. Even after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 the two countries did not re-establish full diplomatic relations, and contact was minimal despite humanitarian aid efforts by Canada in the 1990s.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 1996. Canada became an outspoken critic of the Taliban's human rights abuses against the citizens of Afghanistan. Canada continued to provide humanitarian aid to the country despite Taliban restrictions on aid agencies.
War in Afghanistan
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks prompted Canada to re-evaluate its polices toward Afghanistan. The Minister of National Defence Art Eggleton authorized more than 100 Canadian Forces members serving on military exchange programs in the United States and other countries to participate in the War in Afghanistan. Although Canada did not participate in the opening days of the war, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced on October 7 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 CF units, as Operation Apollo was established. The Canadian commitment was originally planned to last to October 2003.
Canada re-established diplomatic relations with Afghanistan on January 25, 2002.
Canada has an embassy in Kabul. In July 2009, an agreement on handing over of eight acre land by the Afghan government to Canadian embassy was signed in Kabul by the Afghan Minster of Foreign Affairs (Rangeen Dadfar Spanta) and the Canadian ambassador (Ron Hoffmann). The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has an embassy in Ottawa and a consulate in Toronto. The current Canadian ambassador is Glenn V. Davidson. Afghan ambassador Jawed Ludin. completed his assignment in Ottawa in December 2010 and was filled by Barna Karimi in March 2012.
Afghan Ambassador to Canada
List of Afghan Representatives in Ottawa since 2002:
- M. Sharif Ghalib April 2002 - Minister Counsellor, Chargé d'Affaires
- Abdul Jalil Jamily October 2002-November 2003 - Ambassador
- M. Sharif Ghalib November 2003- September 2004 - Minister Counsellor, Chargé d'Affaires
- Omar Samad September 2004-June 2009 - Ambassador
- Jawed Ludin June 2009-February 2011 - Ambassador
- Ershad Ahmadi February 2011-March 2012 - Minister Counsellor, Chargé d'Affaires
- Barna Karimi March 2012 – present - Ambassador
Source: Afghan Embassay
Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan
- Alexander Panetta, "Canada limits main foreign aid recipients to 20 countries", Canada East website (accessed 3 March2009)
- Phillips, Karen (4 February 2008). "Afghanistan: Canadian Diplomatic Engagement". Library of Parliament.
- "Canada wheat to Afghanistan". The Montreal Gazette. 31 August 1971.
- Canwest News Service (January 22, 2008). "Afghanistan and Canada: a timeline". The National Post.
- "Biography of the Ambassador". Retrieved 2010-03-25.[dead link]