Iran urges UN to facilitate inter-Afghan talks

TEHRAN, Nov. 24 (MNA) – Stating that the United Nations must play a key role in facilitating inter-Afghan dialogue, Foreign Minister Zarif said that Iran is ready to cooperate in this regard.

Speaking at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva via videoconference, Mohammad Javad Zarif described the war in Afghanistan as a great tragedy 20 years after the Bonn Conference.

"For more than 40 years, the people of Afghanistan have been suffering from killing, mostly from abroad," he said.

Iran has always supported Afghan-led inter-Afghan dialogueStating that the military approach to peacebuilding has failed and the presence of foreign forces has become a long-standing problem, Zarif added, "The responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan - along with the smooth and effective transfer of their duties to the Afghan security forces - will be a step towards lasting peace."

"Iran has always supported Afghan-led inter-Afghan dialogue," he highlighted, adding, "These talks must also involve the Taliban and preserve the achievements of post-2001: a democratic constitution, the right of the people to self-determination, the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, the rights of women and the fight against terrorism."

"The United Nations must play a key role in facilitating inter-Afghan dialogue, and Iran is ready to cooperate," Iranian FM stressed.

Zarif went on to say, "We all know that poverty and unemployment have provided fertile ground for extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking."

"Peace will not last as long as Afghans find it difficult to survive," he noted.

Despite the brutal US economic war against our people, for our part, we have hosted more than three million AfghansIranian Foreign Minister said, "Despite the brutal US economic war against our people, for our part, we have hosted more than three million Afghans," adding, "They have been subsidized food, transportation and medical services. 470,000 Afghan students are attending our schools and 22,000 Afghan students are studying at our universities."

He announced the opening of the Khaf-Herat railway in the coming days, saying, "We connect Afghanistan to the outside world through Chabahar."

"Our power plants provide electricity to the people of Afghanistan, and we can do much more in the field of energy," he added.

"But instead of facilitating these measures, the United States is blocking such cooperation with economic terrorism targeting both Iranians and Afghans," Zarif highlighted.

"Donors of international aids also have a distinctly flawed approach, the simple feedback of which is evident in the order of the speakers at this meeting, which puts the neighbours in the last part of the speech," he said. 

"The world must put the people of Afghanistan above all other considerations," Iranian FM stressed.

ZZ/IRN84122356

News Code 166299

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