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About our Australia-Afghanistan relations news

Latest news on Australia/Afghanistan relations, covering diplomacy, security cooperation, trade, aid, and the Afghan diaspora in Australia. Stay informed with updates on key developments and issues.

Australia and Afghanistan have a complex and multifaceted relationship, shaped by Australia's long-standing military presence in Afghanistan since 2001, its commitment to supporting the Afghan government and people, and the significant Afghan community in Australia. As of 2021, Australia was host to over 50,000 people of Afghan ancestry, many of whom arrived as refugees and have contributed significantly to Australian society.

On the diplomatic front, Australia maintains an embassy in Kabul and has provided substantial aid and development assistance to Afghanistan, totaling over AUD $1.5 billion since 2001. Key areas of support include education, health, agriculture, and women's empowerment. However, Australia's military withdrawal in 2021 amid the Taliban's resurgence has raised questions about the future of this engagement and Australia's long-term commitment to Afghan stability and human rights.

Security remains a critical issue in Australia-Afghanistan relations, with Australia having lost 41 defense personnel during its mission in Afghanistan. Australia continues to work with international partners to counter terrorism and narcotics trafficking emanating from the region. The changing security landscape following the Taliban takeover presents new challenges and uncertainties for Australia's approach.

Trade and economic ties between Australia and Afghanistan are relatively limited, with two-way trade totaling around AUD $40 million annually. Key Afghan exports to Australia include carpets, dried fruits, and nuts, while Australia exports meat, dairy products, and machinery to Afghanistan. Insecurity and infrastructure constraints have hindered the growth of commercial links.

Within Australia, the Afghan diaspora has made notable contributions across various fields, including business, academia, sports and the arts. However, many Afghan-Australians continue to grapple with the challenges of displacement, cultural adjustment, and concern for loved ones back in Afghanistan, especially in light of the country's recent upheavals.

As events unfold in Afghanistan, Australia faces complex policy choices around engaging with the Taliban, supporting the aspirations of the Afghan people, and fulfilling its humanitarian obligations. Our NewsNow feed aims to keep you informed about the latest developments shaping Australia-Afghanistan relations and their implications for both countries. Drawing on trusted sources and expert analysis, we provide a nuanced and comprehensive perspective on this important bilateral relationship.

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