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Iran Press TV

Iran, Afghanistan agree to block illegal border crossings

Iran Press TV

Monday, 22 June 2020 6:07 PM

Iran and Afghanistan have agreed to take all the necessary measures to prevent illegal border crossings and human trafficking by intensification of controls over the common frontier.

The decision was announced on Monday through a joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of the neighboring countries, which concluded a two-day visit to Iran by Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar.

Security and border committees, the statement said, have been instructed to take the necessary measures to ensure the security of the common border in order to prevent illegal traffic and smuggling of humans and goods.

"In this regard, the two sides stressed the need for the presence of Afghan security forces in the evacuated border checkpoints of the country in addition to facilitation of visa issuance for entering the Islamic Republic of Iran."

The two sides also stressed the need for the border guards to closely and effectively monitor and control the border. They pledged to prevent the unauthorized crossing of the border, human trafficking, and the smuggling of other goods into each other's territory.

"The recent incidents that led to human casualties have been discussed in detail, and Iran has informed Afghanistan of the progress of the investigation, and both sides have agreed to prevent such incidents," it noted.

Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry announced last month that an inquiry has been launched to assess claims that dozens of Afghans who were trying to enter Iran from bordering Herat Province were beaten and pushed into the Harirud river by Iranian border guards.

The Harirud river basin is shared by Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the incident took place on the Afghan side of the border and Iran's border guards had no part in it.

Tehran has expressed readiness to work with the Kabul government to investigate the issue.

Some three million Afghans, including refugees, passport holders, and undocumented ones, have sought safety in Iran over the past 40 years.

Iran spends $8 billion on Afghans every year in various sectors. Besides, an exemplary policy in Iran lets Afghan children attend public school, whether they are registered refugees, passport holders or even undocumented.

The UN refugee agency has, on numerous occasions, praised Iran for hosting Afghan refugees for more than four decades.

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