Tehran urges global co-op on Afghan reconstruction

April 6, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Asian and Oceanian Affairs has called for international cooperation on reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

Mohammad Ali Fathollahi made the remarks in a speech to the meeting of deputy foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which was held in Moscow on Tuesday.
In the one-day event, foreign ministers of the observer and member states of the SCO discussed the security issues facing Afghanistan including terrorism, drug trafficking, and extremism.
During his speech, Fathollahi also expressed concern over the possible signing of a strategic treaty between the United States and Afghanistan.
“The conclusion of such a strategic treaty will undermine the achievements of the Afghan government and the regional countries,” he said.
The U.S. reportedly plans to set up permanent bases in the war-torn country to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 withdrawal deadline.
If an agreement is reached on permanent bases, U.S. troops will remain on Afghan soil beyond the planned transfer of security responsibilities by the end of 2014.
Fathollahi also said the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan has not only not promoted regional security, but has led to insecurity, increase in the production and smuggling of drugs, and the spread of terrorism in the country.
He added that the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to help reconstruct its neighboring state.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental security organization which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Iran, India, Mongolia, and Pakistan are the observer states of this organization.
-- Iranian, Chinese officials discuss Afghanistan
On the sidelines of the SCO meeting, Fathollahi held talks with the Chinese deputy foreign minister on Tuesday.
They emphasized that the all SCO member states must make efforts to promote security and stability in Afghanistan.
The two sides also discussed the latest regional and international developments; Afghanistan featured prominently in the talks.
They also discussed the future impacts of the devastating tsunami in Japan on regional countries.