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President Raeisi: US presence in region does not lead to security, causes more problems

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) meets with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Tehran on August 26, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi says the presence of the United States and other foreign countries in the region does not lead to security, but only causes more problems for regional states.

Raeisi made the remarks in a Thursday meeting with the visiting Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi, during which Iran’s chief executive said the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan could be a turning point for all Afghan groups and ethnicities in their effort to establish peace, security and stability in the country.

“There is no doubt that the US presence in Afghanistan and the region does not lead to security. Therefore, regional countries must join hands and help various groups in Afghanistan form an inclusive and cooperative government.”

Raeisi noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran seeks the helping hand of regional countries to establish peace and security in the region, without relying on foreign interference.

“The presence of the United States and foreigners in the region not only does not lead to security, but also creates [more] problems,” he said.

He maintained that regional countries, in particular Iran and Pakistan, can pave the way for different ethnicities and groups in Afghanistan to cooperate with each other to bring peace to their country and shape their own destiny.

Iran’s chief executive said paternalism and playing the big brother role in Afghanistan was a failed approach the US pursued in the war-torn country, noting such an approach would not lead to peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He made it clear that the neighboring states should only play the role of a facilitator in Afghanistan, so that an all-inclusive government could be formed in the country.

For his part, Qureshi called Tehran-Islamabad relations “historic” and “deep,” highlighting the two countries’ similar positions on many regional and international issues.

“Pakistan seeks to deepen and strengthen the relations between the two countries in various economic, political and regional fields, and we are determined to further upgrade the level of our ties,” he said.

Qureshi also conveyed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s invitation for Raeisi to visit Pakistan.

Qureshi underlined the importance of cooperation and coordination between Tehran and Islamabad to reach sustainable stability and peace in Afghanistan.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a major player in regional developments. Therefore, we believe that by working together we can have positive and useful cooperation in establishing and strengthening peace and stability in the region, especially in Afghanistan,” he added.

Qureshi arrived in Tehran on Thursday afternoon to discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan as well as other regional and bilateral issues.

He met with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, soon after his arrival.

Via his Twitter account, the top Pakistani diplomat said he had extensive discussions with Amir-Abdollahian on regional security and a coordinated approach for Afghanistan to work towards security, stability and an inclusive political settlement in the country.


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