by Meer Agha Nasrat SamimionSep 5, 2012 - 18:11
KABUL (PAN): Iran on Wednesday voiced its willingness to support the Afghan government’s efforts at bringing durable peace and stability to the war-torn country.
Currently in Kabul to attend the fourth meeting of the Joint Economic Commission, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters that Kabul-Tehran ties were better than ever before.
At a joint news conference with his Afghan counterpart Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Salehi said trade, cultural and educational links should lend depth to political relations between the neighbours.
Amid allegations by some Afghan officials and Western nations that Iran is fuelling unrest in Afghanistan, the visiting minister insisted Tehran was ready to help stabilise the country.
In response to a query, he scorned the accusation that Iran was meddling in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. He also vehemently denied his country’s involvement in recent suicide attacks in Nimroz province.
An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman recently expressed concern at the US-Afghanistan strategic cooperation agreement, fearing the deal would perpetuate instability in the country.
But Salehi said that the Afghans, who had suffered a lot over the past three decades due to foreign interference, were headed toward an “encouraging future”.
Since stability in a country had a direct impact on the situation in its neighbours, Tehran would stoutly support Kabul’s efforts for Afghans’ prosperity, the visiting dignitary continued.
With a view to further cementing bilateral friendship, he said, the Iranian government had issued Afghan refugees with legal documents to facilitate their cross-border movement.
While stressing the need for closer trade ties between the two countries, he hoped that Afghan entrepreneurs would benefit from the facilities offered by the Chahbahar dry port.
Under a recently-concluded agreement, Iran gave Afghan businessmen the control of 50 hectares of land at the port. The traders could use the facility for the transportation of their goods, he said.
“We’re duty-bound to pave the ground for the welfare of our two nations, enable them to lead a prosperous life, forge closer trade links and benefit from each other’s facilities,” the minister remarked.
For his part, Rassoul billed the Chahbahar port as a strategic facility for Afghan businessmen. The port would help resist foreign pressures on the landlocked country, he said.
Reminded of America’s call for Afghanistan to snap ties to 24 Iranian firms, Rassoul said Kabul would consider its own interest while taking a decision in this regard.
The foreign minister said the two sides had reached agreement on issues related to trade, commerce, cultural and transit cooperation during the commission’s meeting. At the end of the two-day meeting, Salehi and Rassoul signed a 54-article memorandum of understanding.
The MoU provides for cooperation in areas of trade and customs, transport, insurance and banking, energy, culture, science and education, health, agriculture, communications, mines consulate and border security.
Tags: Afghanistan, vs, Iran, and, Pakistan, Terrorism, support, not, peace, Pakistan, Terrorist, Punjabi, ISI, Iran's, corrupt, Intel, , Occupation, of, Afghanistan, by, US, NATO
Location: Afghanistan (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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