“We thank Iran for supporting peace efforts in Afghanistan,” Afghan deputy foreign minister says

Iran, Afghanistan will settle common concerns: Atmar

June 22, 2020 - 23:46

TEHRAN - Hanif Atmar, Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister, said on Monday that Iran and Afghanistan will allay common concerns.

During a meeting with Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli, Atmar praised Iran’s supports for hosting Afghan nationals.

He also welcomed expansion of economic relations.

Rahmani-Fazli, for his part, said that a document for comprehensive cooperation signed by Iran and Afghanistan will mark a great development in relations.

The document for comprehensive agreement was signed on Monday by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Atmar.

“Mr. Atmar gave us the good news that this document of comprehensive cooperation will be implemented in three months which will be a great development,” the interior minister said after the meeting with Atmar.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) who held talks with Atmar on Sunday, also said that the signing of the comprehensive cooperation helps expand ties between the two neighboring countries.

Rahmani-Fazli also said that the two countries have signed security agreement and plan to hold joint border committee meetings regularly.

Iran has been hosting millions of Afghan refugees since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The flow of Afghan refugees or migrants did not stop despite the pullout of Soviet troops from the Central Asian country as the country descended into civil war and finally, in 2001, the U.S. invaded the country which continues until today.

“The issue of the traffic of Afghan citizens was also discussed. Mr. Atmar thanked Iran for good cooperation in the past 40 years. The two countries will make efforts to remove impediments (for refugees) to legally enter Iran through totally legal ways,” Rahmani-Fazli said.

‘Legalizing the situation of Afghans in Iran is our priority’

Also, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi met with Mirwais Nab, the Afghan deputy foreign minister, on Sunday.

Nab tweeted, “I held constructive talks with Araghchi about the agreement of comprehensive cooperation which includes areas of the economy, transit, politics, and borders. Legalizing the situation of Afghans in Iran is our priority. We also thank Iran for supporting peace efforts in Afghanistan,” ISNA reported.

‘Afghan delegation’s visit is an important step in boosting ties’

Secretary-General of Afghanistan’s National Welfare Party Mohammad Hassan Jafari has said that the high-ranking Afghan delegation’s visit to Iran is an important step in boosting ties.

In an interview with IRNA published on Monday, Jafari said the Afghan delegation must do its best to clear up all misunderstandings caused by some mercenaries who are working against two countries’ relations.  

The party chief noted that Afghan government and people will not allow damage to relations with Iran.

An Afghan lawmaker has also said that the affinities between Iran and Afghanistan is so “strategic, deep and firm” that even changes in governments cannot undermine it, IRNA reported on Monday.

Referring to ethnic, linguistic, cultural and economic and social integration between the two nations, Seyyed Jamal Fakouri said presently about three million Afghans live in Iran.

Fakouri said these Afghan nationals, who have no legal documents, are enjoying life benefits in parallel with Iranian citizens.  

Certain groups have recently attacked the Iranian embassy in Kabul under the pretext that some Afghan migrants were drowned while they were trying to enter Iran illegally.

Iran and Afghanistan have launched a joint inquiry into the tragedy.

Iran has said it has extensive evidence that the incident has not happened on its borders. 

According to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi, the confirmed reports received from Iranian border guards show that such an incident has not occurred on the mentioned date and location. 

He added that due to weather conditions of the region, not a single Afghan citizen entered the Iranian territory on that date.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand has blamed illegal traffic of Afghan migrants for the human tragedy.

Iranian diplomats and border guards have carried out investigations that show the Iranian guards were not involved in the incident, Baharvand added.

“Our investigation does not show that the incident in Harirud was caused by interference of the Iranian border guards. However, we considered evidence of the Afghan side important and gave it to the related bodies,” Baharvand told IRNA in an interview published on June 7.

He said, “Due to Afghan armed forces’ fight against terrorism, Afghanistan has dismantled its border stations and this has caused a lack of control over borders by Afghanistan. This issue has led to problems caused by human traffickers.”

Baharvand also said that Iran and Afghanistan will form a joint border committee.

The deputy foreign minister for international and legal affairs had said on May 27 that Iran and Afghanistan are in agreement on the incident.

Iranian and Afghan political delegations held their last round of talks on the incident in Kabul on May 26. 

Also, on June 3 a number of Afghan migrants were killed in a car accident in Yazd province. 

Following the incident, the Afghan Ambassador to Iran, Abdolghafour Lival, held a meeting with officials of the province. Lival said, “We believe that human traffickers and the driver are responsible for the incident.”

According to Lival, the driver has been identified and judicial authorities are striving to arrest him.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry had announced it would dispatch a high-level delegation to Tehran to investigate the recent incidents for Afghan citizens.

It said the purpose of the team is to draw up a plan to prevent illegal traffic by focusing on ensuring better border security and prevent a recurrence of similar incidents.

The ministry had also said the delegation would discuss with Iranian officials the fight against human trafficking on both sides of the border, the beginning of the process of establishing the identity of Afghan citizens and the legalization of immigrant residency, as well as the implementation of the draft law on legal employment of Afghan workers.

NA/PA

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