Iranian, Norwegian FMs consult on Afghanistan, Vienna talks

January 7, 2022 - 23:14

TEHRAN— In a telephone conversation on Thursday evening, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his Norwegian counterpart Anniken Huitfeldt discussed ties, regional and international issues as well as the ongoing nuclear deal talks in Vienna.

Referring to Iran's support for Norwegian membership at the United Nations Security Council, he expressed hope that the two countries' consultations on important regional and international issues would be strengthened. 

In view of high economic and technological potential of the two countries, the top Iranian diplomats expressed hope that bilateral cooperation would be boosted to develop relations, the Iranian Foreign Ministry website reported. 

The looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan featured high in the talks.

Amir Abdollahian said due to the cold winter, every day 5,000 Afghan women, children and men enter the borders of Iran, so that over the last four months the number of new Afghan refugees in Iran has reached about 800,000.

“We are working to provide services to these IDPs within the borders of Afghanistan, and if the Norwegian government has plans to provide humanitarian assistance to these IDPs, we are ready to take the aid to the people of Afghanistan by land and air, he said.

Amir Abdollahian emphasized the formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all Afghan ethnicities.

The Iranian foreign minister also announced Tehran’s readiness to continue consultations with Norway with regard to developments in Afghanistan and Yemen.

Amir Abdollahian also pointed to the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna, saying the overall atmosphere in the negotiations is currently positive, and if the parties return to their full obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran will also stop its remedial measures.

Amir Abdollahian emphasized that the Western parties should show their goodwill not only in words, but also in action, and the desired practical action is to lift the sanctions and return to the JCPOA.

For her part, Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt praised Iran’s efforts to help Afghan refugees, saying "Not only us, but also the entire international community should be grateful for your humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, and your actions have been there from the past to the present."

On the crises in Yemen and Afghanistan, she said, "In June, we will hold a meeting in Oslo focusing on the crises in Yemen and Afghanistan, and I invite you to participate in this meeting."

Huitfeldt also said her country is “following the talks closely” and that Oslo is “aware of Iran's constructive cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency."

She also expressed hope that the Vienna talks would lead to a good agreement between the two sides.

At the end of the conversation, Amir Abdollahian invited his Norwegian counterpart to visit Tehran.

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