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Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah (R) and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi in Kabul on Tuesday.
Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah (R) and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi in Kabul on Tuesday.

Abdullah, Araqchi Discuss Issues of Mutual Concern

Araqchi was in the Afghan capital to take part in a trilateral meeting between Iran, Afghanistan and India to discuss relations with Kabul, which is at the risk of being caught up in the web of Washington’s sanctions on Tehran

Abdullah, Araqchi Discuss Issues of Mutual Concern

Kabul's relations with Tehran will not be negatively affected by other states, a senior Afghan official said on Tuesday, adding that his country's foreign policy decisions are made independently.
Afghanistan's foreign policy is based on its consideration for national sovereignty and interests and its ties with Iran will not be influenced by any other country, Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said in a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi in Kabul, Tasnim News Agency reported.  Araqchi and the accompanying delegation was in the Afghan capital to take part in a trilateral meeting between Iran, Afghanistan and India to discuss  relations with Kabul, which is at the risk of being caught up in the web of Washington's sanctions on Tehran.
Abdullah said “Afghanistan wants to see progress in the drawing up of a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement, which is expected to open a new chapter in relations between the two neighbors.”
The senior official called for enhanced cooperation on security issues, particularly the fight against terrorism, which he said poses a great threat to the security of the war-ravaged country.

  New Order
Araqchi said considerable progress has been made toward finalizing the partnership agreement, adding that it will help establish a "new order" in bilateral relations and help both countries "prosper".
He said “Tehran respects Afghanistan's national sovereignty and has always endeavored to help the country implement its initiatives aimed at maintaining national unity and promoting stability, peace and security.”
The deputy minister underlined the need to step up cooperation on anti-terrorism, expressing concern over the presence of the Islamic State terrorist group in Afghanistan.
He added that effective measures should be taken by both sides to strengthen economic relations, especially in the banking sector.
The two sides also discussed matters related to the anti-drug campaign, smuggling, refugees, the Iran nuclear deal and water problems.  

  Vital Project
The US decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran and penalize financial institutions for doing business with Tehran threatens to derail the Chabahar Port project, which could help build Afghanistan's economy.
The Indian-backed Chabahar Port Complex is being developed as part of a new transportation corridor for land-locked Afghanistan that could potentially open the way for millions of dollars in trade, cut its dependence on foreign aid and put a major dent in the illicit opium trade, the Taliban's main source of revenue.

  Three-Way Summit
Citing official sources, the Press Trust of India said possible impact of the US sanctions on the Chabahar port project was discussed at the meeting between Iran, India and Afghanistan in Kabul on Tuesday.    
"The meeting focused on consolidating economic cooperation, including on Chabahar, as well as enhancing cooperation on counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics and continuing support for the peace and reconciliation process that is led by Afghanistan," the three countries said in a joint statement.

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