Iran FM discusses Afghanistan with Pakistani diplomat

September 5, 2021 - 18:23

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has received many phone calls from foreign counterparts and officials in which developments in Afghanistan have been discussed in some of these calls.

Abdollahian and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan over the phone on Saturday. 

The call came amid ongoing clashes between the Taliban and resistance groups in the Panjshir Valley. 

Pursuant to previous negotiations between Abdollahian and the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers, the top Iranian and Pakistani diplomats agreed that the teleconference of Afghanistan’s neighbors be held at the level of special envoys and foreign ministers within a few days, according to a statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry. 

Abdollahian also discussed the Afghanistan issue in a phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. 

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has congratulated Abdollahian on the beginning of his tenure.

In the phone call, Wang relayed the Chinese president’s regards to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian president.

The top Chinese diplomat highlighted the key and constructive role of Iran in regional developments, according to a separate statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry. 

The Chinese foreign minister said Beijing seeks a comprehensive expansion of bilateral ties with Tehran, emphasizing the Chinese president’s serious determination to expand Sino-Iranian relations.

Wang said, “We believe that no international development or obstacle can disrupt the two countries’ stable relations.”

China’s top diplomat also said Beijing is ready to implement bilateral agreements previously reached between the two sides including the 25-year Strategic Cooperation Agreement.

Wang said the two sides should follow up on agreements reached during the phone call between the Iranian and Chinese presidents.

He stressed that the international community has no other options but to combat unilateralism and bullying on the international arena.

Wand went on to announce the dispatch of a large number of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine shots to Iran in September.

The top Iranian diplomat, for his part, stressed the strategic ties between the two sides and the long-running friendship between the two nations.

He thanked China for supporting Iran's bid to accede to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Abdollahian described the United States’ unilateralism as a threat to global peace and stability, and stressed that it is Iran’s definite policy to oppose certain powers’ intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries including China.

The Iranian foreign minister said ties between the two sides are based on strategic friendship and long-running partnership. He expounded on the priorities of the new Iranian administration including a foreign policy that focuses on Asia, adding that Tehran is determined to expand ties with Beijing in all fields.

Abdollahian said the government and the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic are working diligently to implement the Strategic Cooperation Agreement, and pursuing the plans for the expansion of ties.

He said it is necessary to further speed up Chinese vaccine deliveries in line with the agreement of the presidents of the two countries and highlighted the importance of this in containing the current outbreak [of the coronavirus] in Iran.

The foreign ministers of Iran and China also stressed the necessity of forming an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the participation of all tribes and groups.

They also emphasized that the fight against terrorism and illegal drug trade is an important priority. Wang and Abdollahian said the flow of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan must not be hindered and the country’s border crossings must remain open.

The two sides stressed that the United States is responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan, and that America played an unconstructive role regarding Afghan people over the past two decades.

The Chinese and Iranian foreign ministers agreed to meet for further talks on the sidelines of the SCO summit.

Iran has called on the Afghans to avoid violence and resolve their disputes through dialogue. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has called on the Afghans to avoid violence and resolve their differences through dialogue amid ongoing clashes in the Panjshir Valley between the Taliban and resistance groups led by Ahamd Massoud.

Referring to the sporadic clashes in Panjshir, Afghanistan, the Foreign Ministry spokesman called on all parties to show restraint and adhere to the principle of dialogue to resolve disputes, and called on Afghan groups to refrain from resorting to violence and fratricide, according to Iran’s state news agency IRNA. 

In an interview with IRNA on Friday about the current developments in Afghanistan and the sporadic clashes in Panjshir, Khatibzadeh called on all parties to show restraint and adhere to the principle of dialogue to resolve disputes and reach a mutually acceptable solution.

The spokesman underlined, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is in constant contact with all parties and has made every effort to reduce the suffering of the Afghan people to a minimum. We believe that lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan can only be achieved through genuine intra-Afghan dialogue without the presence and intervention of foreign countries.”

Khatibzadeh said: “Afghanistan today is tired of years of occupation and war and violence, and therefore all groups must avoid the re-use of violence and fratricide.”

Condemning any foreign interference, he noted, “The people of Afghanistan deserve a popular and inclusive government that reflects the demographic and ethnic composition of this country.”

Khatibzadeh stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is with the people of Afghanistan in this direction, as it has been for the last 40 years.”

Ahmad Masoud, the son of the late anti-Soviet Mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Masoud, has established himself in Panjshir Valley, leading a several-thousand-strong force comprised of militias and remnants of the Afghan army and special forces units who are opposed to the Taliban, according to Press TV.

On Saturday night, Iranian President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi addressed the situation in Afghanistan during his first live interview.

“The solution to the issue in Afghanistan is the establishment of a government based on people’s vote,” he said. 

Ayatollah Raisi continued, “The issue of Afghanistan has shown that the presence of the Americans not only does not create security anywhere, but also undermines security,” according to a readout of the president’s remarks issued by the Iranian presidency.

He added, “Afghanistan has really suffered a great deal. With the oppression of Afghanistan by the Americans and foreign countries, this country has been oppressed for years and Afghan children are injured and disabled every day.”

Ayatollah Raisi noted, “Today, the international community is announcing that more than 30,000 Afghan children have been injured in the past two decades, many homes have been destroyed and the people of Afghanistan have been severely affected. Today, in Iran alone, we host more than 3 million Afghans who have been displaced from their homeland.”

He continued, “The issue of Afghanistan has shown that the presence of the Americans not only does not create security anywhere, but also undermines security. The United States has committed human rights abuses in Afghanistan and actions that definitely need to be analyzed and pursued.”

He said, “The solution to the issue in Afghanistan is the establishment of a government based on people’s vote. The Islamic Republic has always favored the establishment of peace in Afghanistan to stop the bloodshed and fratricide in Afghanistan.”

The president added, “We support a government that is based on the will of the people of Afghanistan, and this is a requirement of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic. The government that emerged from the popular vote in Afghanistan can certainly have very good relations with the Islamic Republic.” 

“Afghanistan's security is Iran's security”

Ayatollah Raisi went on to say that Iran considers security in Afghanistan as its own. 

“Afghanistan's security is Iran's security and we consider not only Afghanistan but also the security and peace of all our neighboring countries as our own security and peace and strengthening relations with them is a central issue and priority of Iran's foreign policy.”

Ayatollah Raisi added Iran hopes that “peace will prevail in Afghanistan as soon as possible and that the dear people of Afghanistan will feel that a government based on their vote has been formed according to the views of all groups and all groups active in Afghanistan.”

The Iranian president also cautioned foreigners not to seek adventures in Afghanistan again and let the people decide for themselves.

“Foreigners should not seek to infiltrate in Afghanistan and want to oppress the Afghan people again. Everyone must allow the people of Afghanistan to decide their own destiny,” said Raisi.

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