Iran to host next meeting of Afghanistan neighbors: FM spox

TEHRAN, Sep. 08 (MNA) – Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has said after today's meeting of Afghanistan neighbors that the next round of the meeting will be hosted by Iran if Covid-19 allows.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks in an interview with IRIB in relation to earlier today's virtual meeting of the six neighboring countries of Afghanistan hosted by Pakistan.

Khatibzadeh said that at today's meeting, the foreign ministers of the attending countries expressed their views with Iran foreign minister Amir-Abdollahian also explaining the principled policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

He said the top Iranian diplomat in the virtual meeting blamed the 20 years of US occupation for the current situation in Afghanistan and the suffering of the Afghans.

The spokesman quoted the foreign minister as saying that "Now all leaders and people of Afghanistan must join hands with the help of the neighboring countries to achieve lasting peace in the country."

Khatibzadeh said the top Iranian diplomat had asked the participants to rule out foreign intervention and the use of military force and had called for committing to dialogue as a genuine policy.

"The priority of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that the will of the people of Afghanistan take effect. The priority is stability and peace, which can only be achieved through the formation of an inclusive government that represents the ethnic diversity in Afghanistan," the foreign ministry spokesman added.

The need for humanitarian assistance and respect for international and humanitarian law had been also stressed in the meeting, according to the spokesman.

"The foreign ministers of neighboring countries were seriously concerned about terrorism in Afghanistan and that the Taliban must keep their distance from terrorists and do not allow terrorism to re-emerge in Afghanistan," Khatibzadeh said, adding "Borders have to be calm and border crossings need to be kept open to help the Afghan people."

"It was agreed to hold the next meeting in Tehran, and if the coronavirus pandemic allows, this meeting will be held in Tehran in the next one or two months," the Iranian spokesman concluded.

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News Code 178407

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