Iran FM holds intensive talks in Dushanbe

September 17, 2021 - 19:32

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian held many meetings with his counterparts from China, Russia, India, and Pakistan to discuss a variety of bilateral and regional issues such as the developments in Afghanistan and the situation around a 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The Iranian foreign minister took part in these meetings while accompanying Iranian President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi in his first foreign visit as president to Tajikistan to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe. 

On the eve of the 21st SCO Summit in Tajikistan, Abdollahian has met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

In the meeting, Abdollahian described Iran’s foreign policy as Asian-oriented and said Tehran is determined to advance relations with China based on the 25-year cooperation agreement as a roadmap for the two countries, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.

Referring to the multilateral issues of the Islamic Republic of Iran's cooperation with China, Abdollahian appreciated the Chinese government's supportive stance on Iran’s approach. He also blamed the United States for undermining the Iran nuclear deal and Iran’s nuclear cooperation.

Abdollahian also referred to the U.S.’s unconstructive stance on Iran’s nuclear program, saying the White House must learn not to use a threatening tone against the Iranian people.

Abdollahian described the U.S.’s disgraceful withdrawal from Afghanistan following years of occupation as another example of Washington’s unconstructive unilateralism, the adverse effects of which have been felt by Afghanistan's neighbors.

He said the establishment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the participation of all ethnic groups is the only desirable form of the country's political future. Abdollahian also referred to the valuable cooperation between Iran and China in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. He appreciated Beijing’s dispatch of Covid vaccine consignments following talks between the presidents of the two countries.

The Chinese foreign minister also stressed the need for the two countries to work together in international affairs. He said China supports Iran's permanent membership in the SCO.

He said the implementation of the 25-year cooperation agreement between the two countries is an important roadmap for bilateral relations and stressed China's determination to fully develop relations with the Islamic Republic.

The Chinese foreign minister called for the continuation of consultations with Iran on the political future of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan was also on the agenda of a four-way meeting of the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Shanghai summit.

At the meeting, the top diplomats supported the formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic groups in Afghanistan.

An Afghanistan free of terrorism, free of drugs and free of threats against its neighbors was another topic on the agenda.

Participants in the meeting welcomed the holding of the next Afghanistan neighbors’ summit in Tehran in late October with the foreign ministers of the countries, plus Russia, in attendance.

India calls for closer consultation with Iran on Afghanistan 

The Iranian foreign minister also held a separate bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar as his bilateral meetings continued on the sidelines of the Shanghai summit.

In this meeting, held on Thursday night, Abdollahian touched upon deep-rooted relations between the two countries as well as relevant infrastructure, and underlined Tehran’s readiness for further enhancement of ties with New Delhi.

He gauged the latest situation in Afghanistan, saying Iran is an immediate neighbor of, and has been affected by the chaotic conditions in Afghanistan due to the long common border with the country.

Abdollahian said there are upwards of 3.5 million Afghan migrants in Iran, and slammed international organizations and Western countries’ indifference with regards to helping these Afghan refugees.

He said Iran’s hosting Afghan guests and offering humanitarian services to them amid the toughest economic sanctions indicate the extent of altruism between the two nations.

The top Iranian diplomat underlined the only proper political model for Afghanistan is the formation of an all-inclusive government that brings together all Afghan groups.
He said Iran is closely watching the political developments in Afghanistan.

As for Tehran-New Delhi relations, he called for a meeting of the two countries’ joint commission to be held soon.

The Indian foreign minister, in turn, referred to historical and good relations between the two countries, saying India stands ready to enhance reciprocal ties with Iran.

Jaishankar also called for closer consultations with Iran on regional challenges, particularly the issue of Afghanistan.

He said India is prepared to hold a meeting of the two countries’ joint commission, and noted New Delhi is ready to further boost mutual cooperation with Tehran.

Iran, Pakistan FMs discuss Afghanistan
Abdollahian also discussed the Afghanistan issue with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Pursuing bilateral consultations with his counterparts on the sidelines of the 21st Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Dushanbe, Abdollahian met with his Qureshi to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and the broader region.

During the talks, Abdollahian voiced concern over the situation of the Afghan people and the security and political situation in Afghanistan. He said the dire conditions are the result of U.S. intervention and irresponsible actions in Afghanistan.

While noting that Iran and Pakistan, as Afghanistan's neighbors, suffer most from the situation in the country, the Iranian foreign minister stressed the need for consensus between Tehran and Islamabad on how to restore stability and lasting peace in Afghanistan.

Abdollahian also called for the establishment of stability and security in Afghanistan by establishing an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic groups.

At the end, the foreign minister of Iran extended an invitation to his Pakistani counterpart to participate in the next meeting of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighbors in Tehran.

The Pakistani foreign minister also praised the role of neighbors in helping Afghanistan achieve the desired situation, and praised Iran's efforts and initiatives in this regard.

Abdollahian, Lavrov stress formation of inclusive Afghan government 

Abdollahian also sat down with his opposite number from Russia Sergey Lavrov on the fringes of the 21st summit of the SCO.

During the talks, the top Iranian diplomat underscored the importance of enhancing Tehran-Moscow relations, and stressed the necessity of consultations between the two countries on regional issues, especially Afghanistan.

Abdollahian recalled the current complex situation in Afghanistan which, he added, is the fallout from the United States’ irresponsible and ignominious withdrawal from the country.

He said the U.S. government is responsible for the present situation in Afghanistan.

Lavrov, for his part, congratulated Abdollahian on his appointment as Iran’s foreign minister, inviting him to visit Moscow to continue bilateral consultations.

It is noteworthy that Iran believes the issue of Afghanistan will only be settled through the establishment of a broad-based government in Kabul represented by all Afghan groups.

Iran has also emphasized that it will keep encouraging all to achieve this objective.

It should also be mentioned that it was agreed in a short four-way meeting late Thursday along with separate meetings of foreign ministers that top diplomats from Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan release a joint quadrilateral statement on the political situation in Afghanistan.

Iran’s foreign minister has already invited his Russian counterpart to take part in a meeting of Afghanistan's neighboring countries to be hosted by Tehran.

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