Afghan gov. vows to retake Islam Qala from Taliban safely

TEHRAN, Jul. 24 (MNA) – The head of the Joint Chamber of Commerce of Afghanistan Herat and Iran's Khorasan Razavi provinces said that the Afghanistan government has promised not to harm the traders in operation to retake Islam Qala border crossing.

"The Afghan government has promised that if it launches an operation to retake the Islam Qala border crossing from the Taliban, it will not cause any harm to traders, drivers, trucks and commercial consignments, and will prevent them from getting harmed," said the head of the Joint Chamber of Commerce of Afghanistan Herat and Iran's Khorasan Razavi provinces "Mira Jan Suleiman Kheil" speaking to Iranian media on Saturday.

Suleiman Kheil also said, "In talks with the government, it was decided that the government would inform traders and merchants before launching any operation by publishing an announcement,"  adding that "we hope the government operation will succeed without clashes, fire and bloodshed."

"If the government has not taken any special action to retake the customs administration of Islam Qala, it has been because it tries to prevent damage and losses to traders and trucks in the region," the Afghan businessman said.

Suleiman Kheil further said, "We have no contact with the Taliban, so we do not have information about their behavior in the Islam Qala customs, but according to the information given by drivers and business activists in the Islam Qala area, thank God, the Taliban have not created any problems in the area for traders and drivers."

Meanwhile, he added, "Although the Taliban's behavior in Herat is unpredictable, so in talks with the elders of the region, we agreed that the trucks would be held at Islam Qala customs at night and that all trucks would leave for Herat during the day."

The Afghan businessman also pointed to the five-day closure of the Islam Qala-Dogharoon border crossing on the occasion of Eid al-Adha and said, "Today, Saturday, after a five-day closure, the border was reopened at 7:00 AM and trucks left Iran for Afghanistan and empty vehicles left Islam Qala back to Iran without any problems."

Suleiman Kheil also said, "Currently, there are no serious threats and problems for the trucks and commercial shipments on the way from Islam Qala to Herat, adding that "News about landmines being planted on this road that is published on cyberspace, is inaccurate."

KI/IRN84414616

News Code 176496

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