Regional & International Cooperation

Iran to host next meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors

by Tasnim News

The next meeting of the foreign ministers representing the neighbors of Afghanistan will be held in Tehran in the near future, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations announced.

Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday evening, Majid Takht Ravanchi highlighted Iran’s efforts to help the Afghan groups settle their differences, saying Tehran will be hosting the next round of the ministerial meeting of Afghan neighbors.

“Afghanistan is passing through a critical juncture; hundreds of thousands of Afghans have fled their country; nearly 600,000 others have become internally displaced; essential food supplies are running short; and 18.4 million people need humanitarian assistance,” the Iranian envoy warned.

“This situation is primarily the direct result of the intervention by the US and other foreign forces in Afghanistan and their irresponsible withdrawal. When they entered Afghanistan, they brought catastrophe for Afghans, and when they withdrew, they left calamity for Afghans,” he deplored.

“Through 2001-2021, nearly 165,000 Afghans have been killed, and the direct child casualties of the conflict is estimated around 33,000. These figures alone indicate the gravity and scale of death and devastation. War crimes committed by foreign forces in Afghanistan must not go unpunished,” the Iranian ambassador stressed.

Calling for attention to the very basic needs of millions of people of Afghanistan, Takht Ravanchi said, “Iran stands ready to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian aids to Afghanistan through Iran’s sea ports, airports, railways, roads and border crossings.”

He further noted that Iran has hosted millions of Afghan refugees over the past four decades, adding, “After the recent crisis, many more refugees have entered the Iranian territory. We expect the international community to shoulder its responsibility and do a lot more in providing assistance to these refugees.”

“Afghanistan’s people must also be helped to achieve lasting peace, stability and prosperity. The full realization of this objective must be facilitated and strongly supported by the international community particularly the neighboring countries. The First Ministerial Meeting of Neighbors of Afghanistan, held virtually yesterday (September 8), was meant to serve that purpose. Its next round will be held in Tehran in the near future,” he noted.

“Iran has always made every effort to help all Afghan parties to settle their differences peacefully. Last July, we organized a high-level peace talks between the delegations of the Afghan government and the Taliban. They agreed to continue their talks at a later meeting. Iran is ready to host the next round of such talks,” Takht Ravanchi noted, IRNA reported.

Iran continues to urge all Afghan leaders from different religious, linguistic, ethnic and political backgrounds to place the interests of all people of Afghanistan above the interests of certain segments of the society, the envoy stated.

The Iranian diplomat then denounced the recent “unjustifiable attack and condemnable fratricide in Panjshir”, saying it was in contradiction with the united position of the international community that any government that came to power through force in Afghanistan would not be recognized.

“Indeed, the path to stability, durable peace and sustainable development in Afghanistan passes through intra-Afghan talks with the active and equal participation of the true representatives of all ethnic, linguistic and religious groups aimed at finding a just, peaceful and durable solution to the crisis, achieving national reconciliation and establishing a truly inclusive, broad-based and fully representative government that is emerged from a free and fair elections including with the full participation of women both as voters and candidates and is committed to combat terrorism and organized crime as well as to guarantee and protect, based on true Islamic teachings and principles, the human rights of all Afghan people including ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities and women. We expect the Taliban to honor its commitments in this regard. Such a government will enjoy Iran’s support,” he said.

“Like Afghanistan’s other neighbors, we are gravely concerned about insecurity and instability as well as threats of terrorist networks and organized criminals active in trafficking in drugs and persons,” the Iranian ambassador noted.

“We also strongly believe that Afghanistan’s territory must not be used, under any circumstances, to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts. Terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIL) that represent a grave threat to Afghanistan and the region must not be allowed to operate in that country,” Takht Ravanchi underlined.

“Afghanistan needs to be supported to overcome its current economic difficulties. We have established the link from Afghanistan as a land-locked country to high seas through Iran’s Chabahar Port and to Europe through the Khaf-Herat railway,” he noted.

The UN ambassador finally noted that Iran stands ready to further develop and deepen cooperation with Afghanistan in all fields and to contribute to a more secure and prosperous Afghanistan.

Tasnim News
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