Taliban must assure neighbors there won’t be threat from Afghanistan: Iran FM

October 27, 2021 - 14:15

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Wednesday that it is necessary that the current Taliban rulers in Afghanistan give assurances that there will be no threat against countries neighboring Afghanistan.

“It is necessary that the Taliban adopt a friendly approach toward its neighbors and take necessary measures that give assurances that there will no threat against its neighbors from the territory of Afghanistan,” Amir Abdollahian told the participants at the Tehran conference on Afghanistan.

The foreign ministers of the countries neighboring Afghanistan started their meeting in Tehran on Wednesday morning.

The foreign ministers of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have attended the conference.  The Chinese foreign minister, whose country shares 46-mile border with Afghanistan, and the Russian foreign minister are also scheduled to address the conference virtually. 

Foreign ambassadors in Tehran, including the Chinese and Russian ambassadors, are participating in the conference.

It is the second time that Iran is hosting a conference on Afghanistan since the Taliban took the power in the Central Asian country. 

Iran and Pakistan share the longest borders with Afghanistan and host the largest number of refugees from Afghanistan.

“Taliban tasked to provide security, fight terrorism”

Amir Abdollahian also said the Taliban have an “undisputable task” to provide security for Afghan citizens and fight terrorism in the country.

It is also necessary that the Taliban respect the rights of all groups including women, provide the basic needs of citizens, put an end to the discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, eliminate the roots of the displacement of citizens and observe the fundamental principles of international law.

Taliban took the helm in Afghanistan after it captured the capital Kabul on August 15. The group was in power from 1996-2001 until they were overthrown in October 2001 by the U.S. following the September 11 attacks.

Amir Abdollahian said the balance of power in Afghanistan has changed but this situation will persist only if the realities of Afghanistan are taken into consideration and steps are taken in accordance with them.

“Accordingly, the Islamic Republic of Iran insist on the need for formation of an inclusive government with the involvement of all influential ethnic and religious groups through intra-Afghan talks without interference of foreign players,” Iran’s chief diplomat asserted.

He added it is “expected” that all countries neighboring Afghanistan to “use all their influence on the Taliban leaders and other Afghan sides to encourage them” to agree on formation of an inclusive government through “collective participation”.

The foreign minister also asked neighbors to facilitate the process of an inclusive government.

Uzbekistan says ready to provide economic and educational assistance to Afghanistan

Addressing the conference, Uzbek Foreign Minister Kamilov Abdulaziz Khafizovich said his country is ready to support Afghanistan in terms of economy and education.

Khafizovich also said although Afghanistan is facing challenges it also has opportunities ahead. Afghanistan has capacities to implement economic and commercial projects, he opined.

“We seek the development of Afghanistan in different areas including economy. We can use these capacities well.”

Khafizovich added, “We can establish a durable and useful connection between Afghanistan and neighboring countries.” He cited construction of a railroad between neighbors as an example.

Uzbekistan’s chief diplomat went on to say that “we also insist on formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the participation of all groups and ethnicities.”

He also called on the international community to act to its commitments toward Afghanistan. The foreign minister said the ruling group in Afghanistan should also meet the “demands and expectations of the international community.”

Turkmenistan says the world should hear the voice of Afghan people

Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov also said the countries neighboring Afghanistan have responsibility toward the Afghan people and the voice of Afghan citizens should be heard by the international community.

Meredov also said Afghanistan is currently in very difficult situation and in order to get rid of this dilemma “we need a roadmap and prosper assessment of the developments in this country.” 

Noting that the participants to the conference are seeking to help establish peace in Afghanistan, he added, “At the current time, the economic situation in Afghanistan is not good and we can take good decisions (for the resolution of) the problems of Afghanistan’s people in these negotiations.”

Meredov also said all should help different ethnic groups have a voice in the future of Afghanistan so that the “rights and interest all people are protected”.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the chief Turkmen diplomat said the ruling group in Afghanistan is facing serious economic difficulties and at the same time they must counter terrorism.

To improve the situation, he suggested, it is necessary that important decisions be taken for reconstruction of Afghanistan and help make the Afghans have a normal life.

He added an improvement of the situation in Afghanistan will have a positive effect on the entire region.

Meredov also said Afghanistan has good economic potential for participation in reginal and international infrastructure projects, especially in areas of transportation and transit.

Pakistan FM says the world should help prevent humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan

For his part, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the conference that the international community should send aid to Afghanistan to avoid a humanitarian disaster in the country. He also called on the foreign countries that have frozen the Afghan assets to release them.

Qureshi also pointed to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, saying, “In August a change of power happened in Afghanistan without bloodshed and the Taliban took the power.”

He added, “We all seek a stable Afghanistan. I believe that today’s meeting can strengthen the first one (in Pakistan) and take great strides for establishment of security in Afghanistan.”

Pakistan’s chief diplomat also said the rights of all Afghan people should be respected and an inclusive government be established in the country.

He added, “For us a reopening of schools for girls and boys in Afghanistan is important.”

China’s Wang says meeting on Afghanistan will bolster diplomatic ties between neighbors

Addressing the conference virtually, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also said the Tehran meeting has been held at a good time and this would help reinforce diplomatic interactions between countries neighboring Afghanistan.

“So far, we have moved in a good path and hope that we all can help realize peace and tranquility in Afghanistan,” Wang told the meeting.

Lavrov says Russia backs inclusive government in Afghanistan

Addressing the Tehran conference virtually, Russian Foreign Minister said the Kremlin backs formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan and the Afghan citizens should be assured that their rights are observed in practice.

Lavrov also said the current situation in Afghanistan is the result of two decades of occupation by the U.S. He also said Afghanistan should start from scratch and rebuild the country.

Suggesting that all countries should accept their responsibilities toward Afghanistan, the chief Russian diplomat said the Westerners, including the Americans, have always been seeking their own goals in Afghanistan from “long distances”.

He also pointed to drug trafficking and movements of terrorist groups in Afghanistan, suggesting regional and international potentials should be used to improve the situation in the Central Asian country.

The Iranian embassy in Paris also issued a statement saying that Tehran backs all “regional initiatives” for resolving problems facing Afghanistan.

It said Iran seriously believes that inclusive plans will “benefit regional peace and security.”


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