Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has reaffirmed the need for the establishment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, saying Tehran remains in contact with all sides in the neighboring country, including the interim government in Kabul.
“We are closely following the developments in Afghanistan and believe that the formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic groups in the country is the foremost political solution that lies ahead of us,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a joint press conference with his visiting Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in Tehran on Tuesday.
He added that Iran was pursuing contacts with all sides in Afghanistan and making use of the utmost capacities of its border crossings for trade and humanitarian aid delivery to the crisis-hit country.
The top Iranian diplomat said efforts to improve the economic situation in Afghanistan and speed up aid delivery to the country would help lower the number of Afghan refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.
He said Afghanistan’s interim government should be encouraged to fulfill and informed of its responsibility to promote peace, stability and security in the war-ravaged country.
The Taliban announced an interim government for Afghanistan in September, weeks after it took control of the country amid swift advances on the ground, which many attribute to a hasty withdrawal of US-led foreign forces.
The 33-member cabinet is dominated by members of the Taliban’s old guard.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Amir-Abdollahian said Iran and Pakistan are determined to improve border, economic and trade cooperation at all levels.
The top Iranian diplomat emphasized that the two neighboring and friendly countries also agreed to send a unified message to the Afghan people, the international community and the interim government in Kabul during the meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s six neighboring states plus Russia, which is scheduled to open in Tehran on Wednesday.
Afghanistan’s neighbors need to continue their collective measures to develop a common understanding to find a solution to the current complicated situation in the region, he added.
‘Iran keen to deepen strategic cooperation with Turkmenistan’
In a meeting with Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran welcomed the expansion of cooperation with Ashgabat to a strategic level, particularly in political, economic and cultural fields.
He said cooperation and synergy between the two countries in the road, rail and sea transportation and transit would serve the interests of both sides.
The Turkmen foreign minister, for his part, said his country’s foreign policy had always attached great importance to the expansion of ties with neighboring states, particularly Iran.
The top Iranian and Turkmen diplomats also discussed the latest developments in the Caspian Sea as the sea of friendship that belongs to its littoral states, which should all enjoy its economic benefits.
Addressing a joint press conference with Meredov, the Iranian foreign minister said the two countries had agreed to revise a document on joint cooperation.
Amir-Abdollahian added that Iran and Turkmenistan had signed over 100 official documents so far to strengthen cooperation in different fields.
He noted that the two neighbors would hold more consultations in the future.