Call for Schedule to Settle Issues With Kabul
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said a timetable should be set for resolving issues with Afghanistan.
“Issues between the two countries, including refugees, border rivers, transport and security, are all resolvable,” the Leader said, noting, “(They) should be studied with seriousness and be settled through establishing a timetable.”
He made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani late on Sunday, which was also attended by President Hassan Rouhani.
Underlining the need for resolve to foster cooperation and develop empathy between the two neighbors, he said, “The Americans and some regional countries have failed to recognize Afghanistan’s potential and do not favor empathy and cooperation between (Tehran and Kabul).”
“However, Iran regards Afghanistan’s security and progress as its own,” Ayatollah Khamenei was quoted by IRNA as saying.
He stressed the necessity of addressing the problems of educated Afghan immigrants to Iran, whose numbers amount to hundreds of thousands, saying, “The Afghan people are very talented and intelligent and this talent should be properly applied to (the process of) knowledge acquisition,” since the educated Afghans play a central role in reconstructing their country.
The Leader said that “(our) Afghan brothers” should consider Tehran “their home”, referring to the long-standing relations and friendship between the two neighbors’ governments.
Noting that Iran’s considerable progress in various fields can prepare the ground for improving bilateral cooperation, Ayatollah Khamenei expressed hope that the capabilities of the Afghan government and nation would improve rapidly.
The Afghan president, for his part, voiced pleasure with his visit to Tehran, saying, the main aim of the trip is to restore Afghanistan’s original role as a “transportation hub” in the region.
“The Afghan government’s policies are aimed at turning (Afghanistan’s) internal differences into grounds for cooperation.”
Pointing to the old, deep historical and cultural bonds between the two countries, Ghani noted that the two countries face similar threats and opportunities.
He called for Kabul-Tehran relations to be focused on “positive common grounds,” stressing, “Our political will is centered on efforts to expand bilateral ties.”
Referring to existing problems, including terrorism and drug trafficking, he said, “The two sides should demonstrate political will to help resolve the issues based on the timetable drawn up during this trip.”
Iran is one of the biggest victims of drug smuggling, Ghani said, adding, “None of Afghanistan’s other neighbors has been pursuing the campaign against illicit narcotics so seriously,” urging further cooperation between the two neighbors in this regard.