Diplomatic relations between France and Afghanistan were established in 1922, with the creation, the same year, of the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan (DAFA). The foundations of Franco-Afghan cooperation lie, in addition to archeology, in the field of education: creation of the French Secondary School for Boys in 1923 (named Esteqlal in 1929) and the French Secondary School for Girls (Malalaï) in 1942. The University of Lyon 1 and the University of Paris’ School of Law began their cooperation with the University of Kabul in the 1960s. Cooperation agreements have been signed in the fields of health (1963), cultural and technical cooperation (1966), and agriculture (1969). A French cultural center was founded in Kabul in 1970. On January 1st, 2011, after being completely renovated, it became the French Institute of Afghanistan.
After the Soviet invasion in 1979, France’s efforts were concentrated in the humanitarian field. The action of French NGOs present in Afghanistan, even in the darkest hours, has contributed to the capital of sympathy which France continues to enjoy in this country. The end of the Taliban regime provided for reopening France’s Embassy in Kabul in February 2002. Official visits in both directions have resumed at a brisk pace, reflecting the special character of Franco-Afghan relations.
On January 27th, 2012, presidents Sarkozy and Karzai signed a Friendship and Cooperation Treaty between France and Afghanistan. Signed for 20 years, the treaty places the French commitment on the long-term and marks its evolution from predominantly military to predominantly civilian. It is supplemented by a cooperation program presenting the projects to be carried out under the Treaty in more detail for the first five years (2012-2016) in the fields of security (military training, police training, and creating an Afghan gendarmerie), science, technology, and culture (agriculture, research, education, health, archeology, governance), infrastructure (irrigation, railways, mines), economy, and trade. The treaty will be accompanied by a significant increase in our bilateral aid.
Updated on 01.02.12
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