Iran diplomat meets local Taliban officials in Khost

June 6, 2022 - 21:38

TEHRAN - The Iranian deputy ambassador to Kabul toured Afghanistan’s easternmost province of Khost and held talks with local Taliban officials for establishing economic relations, Fars reported on Monday.

Seyed Hassan Mortazavi inspected the province’s trade and economic capacities and discussed the presence of Iranian businessmen in the province. 

Mortazavi, along with other Iranian diplomats, left Kabul for Khost at the invitation of Mohammad Nabi Omari, governor of Khost Province. 

This is the first visit of an Iranian delegation to the easternmost point of Afghanistan, which is remarkable in its kind, according to Fars News. Khost province was known as one of the main bases of terrorism during the previous government, but now it seems that relative security has been provided in the province.

Simultaneously with the visit of the Iranian diplomatic delegation to Khost province, the humanitarian aid of Iranian philanthropists was distributed among locals. The eastern regions of Afghanistan, due to the distance and lack of security, have not always had a place in the relations between Iran and Afghanistan. But in recent months, visits by officials to the eastern provinces of Khost and Nangarhar indicate that the Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing its new diplomacy in Afghanistan with a more serious and comprehensive view.

In late May, Mortazavi met with Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani, acting Afghan Minister of Refugee Affairs, to discuss the Taliban delegation's upcoming visit to Iran.

“The situation in Afghanistan in recent months has been such that the Islamic Republic of Iran has hosted a large number of new immigrants, which requires coordination with the Afghan governing body,” Mortazavi said of the meeting. 

He added, “After the new government came to power in Afghanistan, some administrative problems have arisen for Afghan refugees in Iran, so it was decided that the two sides work together to solve problems of Afghan refugees in Iran as much as possible.” 

He noted, “As previously announced, a delegation from the Ministry of Refugees of the Government of Afghanistan will head to Tehran to follow the process of solving the problems of Afghan refugees so that administrative facilities for solving these problems can be jointly devised and implemented.”

Iran and Afghanistan are also in the process of cementing their ties, especially in the economic sector. 

Officials of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment announced their readiness to establish a joint chamber of commerce with Iran. According to a previous agreement between the two countries, the chamber was established in Iran, but was not established in Afghanistan over the years, the state news agency IRNA reported.

The Afghan chamber of commerce announced recently that an Afghan delegation met with the board of the Iran Chamber of Commerce and Investment to establish a joint chamber inside the country, and establish coordination and bilateral meetings in Kabul.

Khan Jan Alokozai, a member of the board of directors of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment, mentioned Iran as a major trading partner and called for coordination and resolution of trade problems on the border between the two countries.

In this regard, he considered the establishment of a joint chamber inside Afghanistan as an important need. 

Shafiqullah Atai, head of Afghanistan's Chamber of Commerce and Investment, also stressed the importance of developing trade relations and resolving existing problems, exchanging trade delegations, holding exhibitions and joint ventures.

He also announced Afghanistan is ready to establish a joint chamber of commerce with Iran.

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