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Hosting Afghanistan neighbors’ meeting, Iran blames US for hardships of Afghans

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (2nd-L) and Vice President Mohammad Mokhber (2nd-R) are seen among other representatives of Iran at the Second Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan’s Neighbors, Tehran, October 27, 2021. (Photo by Tasnim)

Senior Iranian officials have held the United States responsible for the hardships facing the Afghan people today, as Tehran hosts a meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors plus Russia aimed at coordinating efforts to restore peace and stability to the war-ravaged South Asian state.

On Wednesday, foreign ministers of Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as the Russian and Chinese ambassadors attended the meeting of Afghanistan’s six neighbors plus Russia — the second of its kind — at the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran.

The foreign ministers of Russia and China also took part in the meeting online.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the summit would focus on the new situation in Afghanistan, expressing hope that it will send a common message with a united voice to the international community, regional countries and Afghanistan.

“We believe that in the first place, all neighbors and the international community, in parallel, should pay special attention to the political and humanitarian situation, along with the spread of terrorism, drug trafficking, and the situation of human rights and women in Afghanistan,” he said.

Amir-Abdollahian also noted that the responsibility for the security of Afghan citizens and borders with neighbors lies primarily with the interim government in Kabul.

“Respect for other countries’ sovereignty, preservation of their territorial integrity and non-interference in their affairs are among the basic principles of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy,” he said.

“If a strong message is being sent today from the Tehran meeting for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, it is because of attention to the history and the role of the Afghan people in countering the occupation and the challenges of recent decades.”

US to blame for catastrophes in Afghanistan

Amir-Abdollahian blamed “foreign meddling” as the root cause of many of the problems currently facing Afghanistan and said the United States must openly accept responsibility “with a loud voice” for the catastrophes it brought about in the country during its two-decade-long invasion.

The United States must also stand by the international community in the serious measures that it will take to soothe the sufferings of the Afghan people and help the nation overcome its challenges, Amir-Abdollahian added.

‘US escape from Afghanistan showed reliance on foreigners leads nowhere’

Also addressing the event, Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber said the security of neighboring countries is intertwined with that of Afghanistan.

“Accordingly, we supported the initiative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to hold the first summit of the Afghanistan’s neighboring states, hosted the second round of the meeting and welcome the hosting of a third round by the People’s Republic of China,” he added.

Mokhber also said the US spent more than $2.5 trillion to create a government in Afghanistan, but the failure of its irrational, irresponsible and reckless policy showed how alienated Washington is from the Afghan people, culture, and social environment.

“The United States and its NATO allies attacked Afghanistan two decades ago under the pretext of the 9/11 attacks purportedly to fight against terrorism. However, their 20-year invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has brought nothing other than insecurity, spread of extremism, rise of terrorism, economic backwardness, destruction of the foundations of independence, increase of drug production and the bereavement of Afghan families,” he said.

“The scandalous US escape without a sense of responsibility for the security and future of the country’s people created painful and instructive scenes. It showed that America could not bring security, peace, stability and prosperity to the Afghan people, and that reliance on foreign governments can keep no government in place.”

Referring to recent terrorist attacks at mosques in the cities of Kandahar and Kundudz, he warned that Takfiri terror outfits like Daesh are operating as a US proxy force against Afghan citizens’ security.

The Takfiris, he said, are trying to spark a new civil war by fueling discord and pessimism among different Afghan ethnic and religious groups.

“Today, it is the duty of the people and rulers of Afghanistan not to allow the reactionaries and aggressors to threaten the security of its people,” he added.

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