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Wrong US policies root cause of complicated situation in Afghanistan: Iran's top security official

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)
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani (3rd L) and Kyrgyz Republic Security Council's Vice Chairman Talatbek Masadykov (C-R) meet in Tehran on December 5, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)

The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) says the current complicated situation in Afghanistan is the result of wrong policies adopted by the United States during 20 years of its presence in the war-torn country.

Ali Shamkhani made the remarks in a Sunday meeting with the visiting Kyrgyz Republic Security Council's Vice Chairman Talatbek Masadykov, who is in Tehran for an official three-day visit.

During the meeting the two sides exchanged views on a vast array of regional and international developments as well as matters of mutual interest, including further expansion of cooperation between Tehran and Bishkek in all areas, especially in political, security and economic fields.

Referring to the latest developments in Afghanistan, Iran’s security chief said, “The current complicated conditions in the region, especially the situation in Afghanistan, are the result of wrong policies adopted by the United States, which only created crises, and the outcome of over 20 years of Washington’s aggression and occupation of Afghanistan.”

"Given the necessity for the establishment of peace, stability and sustainable security in Afghanistan, we believe that formation of an inclusive government, as an umbrella for all Afghan ethnic groups, is an important factor for the realization of this goal," Iran's top security official added.

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 following the September 11, 2001 attacks. American forces occupied the country for about two decades under the pretext of fighting against the Taliban. But as the US forces left Afghanistan, the Taliban stormed into Kabul, weakened by continued foreign occupation.

The Taliban wrested control of Afghanistan in August after a fierce offensive facilitated by a flash withdrawal of all of the United States’ forces from the country that had been announced by Washington back in April. The government of Afghanistan rapidly collapsed on August 15, with President Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country in the face of lightning advances of the Taliban.

The group has pledged to allow the formation of a broad-based and representative government. Concerns, however, remain given its drawn-out history of violence.

Iran has repeatedly reaffirmed the need for the establishment of a broad-based government in Afghanistan and the improvement of the situation in the country but emphasized that Tehran would never join a one-sided mechanism designed by the United States and other extra-regional countries on Kabul.

Elsewhere in the meeting, Shamkhani pointed to civilizational commonalities between Iran and Kyrgyzstan as well as common interests and threats faced by the two countries, saying that bilateral cooperation should be improved through suitable planning.

The SNSC secretary noted that Iran enjoys great capacities in the fields of transit, energy, science, medicine, technology, information technology and knowledge-based companies, voicing the country's readiness to expand all-out cooperation with Kyrgyzstan.

The Kyrgyz security official, for his part, said Tehran and Bishkek have common stances on regional issues, particularly the developments in Afghanistan, expressing his country's keenness to bolster economic, political and security relations with Iran.

Referring to the crisis in Afghanistan, Masadykov urged regional countries to come up with common and coordinated initiatives to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, absolute poverty, and the spread of terrorism in the crisis-hit country and help establish stability there.

Iran, Kyrgyzstan stress further expansion of all-out cooperation

In another meeting on Sunday, the Kyrgyz security official met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

During the meeting, both sides stressed their respective countries’ determination to boost mutual cooperation and expand relations in all possible areas over the long run.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) and Kyrgyz Republic Security Council's Vice Chairman Talatbek Masadykov meet in Tehran on December 5, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)

The two sides also discussed the ongoing developments in Afghanistan with Iran’s foreign minister stressing the need for the establishment of an inclusive government that would encompass all Afghan ethnic groups, in order to restore stability and peace to the war-torn country.

The top Iranian diplomat outlined the Islamic Republic's policies vis-à-vis its neighboring states and said the exchange of views among the two countries' officials demonstrates both sides' determination to promote cooperation.

He also hailed the successful holding of the recent parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan.

The Iranian foreign minister stressed the importance of providing the necessary ground for the expansion of cooperation by establishing direct flights between Tehran and Bishkek, which would facilitate visits by both sides' tradesmen, political delegations and tourists.

Other important issued highlighted by Iran's top diplomat included the two countries' cooperation in the fields of transportation and transit as well as test operation of the Kyrgyzstan-Bandar Abbas railway, which aims to connect Kyrgyzstan to the West Asian region.

Masadykov, for his part, expressed hope that a new chapter would open in bilateral cooperation in various fields, including the economic sector, based on the existing capacities.

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