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Iran supports regional solution on Afghanistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

The Hague, March 31, IRNA -- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs said here Monday that Iran supports any regional solution for existing problems in Afghanistan.

Mohammad-Mehdi Akhoundzadeh told IRNA before the The Hague International Conference on Afghanistan that Iran’s stand on the Afghan crisis is based on realities.

He emphasized that the foreign military forces can by no means bring forth peace and security in Afghanistan, arguing, “Any assistance offered to Afghanistan must be offered after gaining that nation’s trust.”

Akhoundzadeh added, “Iran has during the course of the past seven years managed to gain the trust of the Afghan nation by seriously pursuing construction projects in their country and that is also the reason why the other countries admit that both the Afghan nation and the Afghan Government attach great importance to cooperation with Iran.”

He furthermore noted that the Afghan nation has been subject to various types of mistreatment during the long course of the past decades, adding, “The first proper step would be to deliver the rule of the affairs in Afghanistan to the Afghan nation and to refrain from making any moves that might further aggravate the dimensions of unrests there.”

Akhoundzadeh emphasized that to the same extent that the foundations of Afghanistan’s economy and the employment status in that country would be improved the extent of resorting to extremist moves there would be lessened.

Meanwhile referring to the presence of foreign forces in that country, he said, “When aliens sit and decide instead of another nation and their officials, it is quite natural that the outcome would not be any better than the present state of affairs in Afghanistan.”

He added, “The dead-end status with which the NATO is faced today is due to the same fact, and also because the mere presence of foreign military forces in a country can lead to increased emergence of extremism in that country.”

Akhoundzadeh added, “There is another viewpoint that argues that with the evacuation of the foreign military forces new waves of extremism would replace the resulting vacuum, and that is a matter that can be put to debate, but the major point is that at any rate, gaining the trust of the Afghan nation is a bare necessity.”

He added, “This demand means that in the course of a predictable period of time the people of Afghanistan would be able to hope that after passing that period they would gain full control over their own country’s entire affairs, which is an issue from which Afghanistan currently suffers, and that is a point worth close attention by the international community.

He also referred to some comments regarding the replacement of Shanghai Cooperation Organization forces with a part of the NATO forces, which was discussed during the Moscow Conference on Afghanistan, where major attention was paid to narcotic drugs trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime problems.

Akhoundzadeh said that it was agreed that the member and observer countries at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization should offer intelligence, administrative, and consultation cooperation aimed at solving the problems in Afghanistan.

He added, “At that conference, too, the most important idea was that a regional solution must be sought for that country, based on which the countries that are affected mostly from the problems in Afghanistan should accept responsibilities.”

He then referred to the UN role in Afghanistan, arguing, “The Islamic Republic of Iran that has taken part at this conference based on an invitation from the UN believes that the UN role in Afghanistan should be more serious.”

Akhoundzadeh added, “This organization has a broad range of potentials and its legitimacy as a democratic and international foundation is recognized by the global community, and although it was formerly mainly marginalized, it can now play a decisive role in this respect.”

He emphasized that Iran has throughout the past three decades always remained by the side of the Afghan nation as a friend and has been present at the entire conferences in which that country and the fate of its people have been discussed.

The Deputy Foreign Minister in Asia and Oceania Affairs added, “Due to the existence of lots of historic and cultural commonalties between the two countries, Iran feels responsible for assisting the Afghan nation, but meanwhile, we believe before making any move regarding Afghanistan the ideas of real owners of that country, that is the Afghan nation, should be kept in mind.

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