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Kabul Awaits Bright Future With Tehran

Kabul Awaits Bright  Future With TehranKabul Awaits Bright  Future With Tehran

Tehran and Kabul will hold the joint commission on economic cooperation after the end of two elections in Iran scheduled simultaneously for next Friday.

"The session of the joint commission on economic cooperation will be held either in Tehran or Kabul, once the Majlis and Experts Assembly elections in Iran have been conducted. This session will cover all economic issues between the two countries. No topic out of the framework of the commission will be discussed," said Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in an interview with IRNA in Kabul published on Friday.

Abdullah visited Iran and met with the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Iranian high-ranking officials early last month.

In line with his attempts to reduce Afghanistan's dependence on Pakistani transit routes, Abdullah also visited the free-zone port of Chabahar during his trip.

Iran, India and Afghanistan signed an agreement to make the optimum use of Chabahar Port as an import and export center for their products. Afghanistan tries to access international waters via the port.

"This is now a recognized fact in the region that Chabahar has good potential [to be an import/export hub]. We will do our best to exploit this potential for the people in the region," Abdullah said.

***Afghan Peace Talks   

Asked whether Russia's proposal for initiating new rounds of peace talks involving Iran and India would help establish stability and peace in Afghanistan, the Afghan chief executive said, "We are in touch with Russia, but Afghanistan's interest in the new multilateral talks is a different subject."

Abdullah added that all the topics related to Afghanistan's relations with neighboring and regional countries are open to discussion. He acknowledged the role of Iran and India in Afghanistan's peace talks, saying he believes all countries would be affected by insecurity.

"But Russia has not officially stated the topic of new multilateral negotiations," he said.

Elaborating on security threats Afghanistan is currently dealing with, the senior Afghan official referred to the Taliban insurgency and the impact of international terrorism on the South Asian country, especially the emergence of militants linked to the self-styled Islamic State militant group.

He said the fundamental issue about IS is not to estimate the number of forces fighting for the group in Afghanistan, though the threat posed by the militant group in Afghanistan cannot be ignored and must be addressed.

Abdullah believes that the death of former Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, scattered the group into three sub-divisions, each following a different leader and taking dissimilar positions toward peace talks.

"Regardless of the results [of the peace talks], we must face the reality that, on the one hand, the war is raging on, and on the other, we have sent our message to all the fighting groups to grab the opportunity and honestly engage in peace talks," he said.

"Those who insist on continuation of war will celebrate no achievements."

Financialtribune.com