Iran FM stresses formation of  regional fund to help Afghans

TEHRAN, Mar. 31 (MNA) –Iranian foreign minister stressed the need for establishing a regional mechanism to help Afghanistan while reiterating the call for an inclusive government in the country at a China-hosted meeting on Thursday.

 Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian addressed the third foreign ministers meeting of Afghanistan's neighboring countries which is taking place in Tunxi, in China on March 30-31 on Thurday.

The top Iranian diplomat called for establishing a mechanism within the region and a monetary fund to support the people of Afghanistan as a necessity while also reiterating the call for the formation of an inclusive national government in the impoverished country.

The followoing is the full text of the Amir-Abdollahian's speech:

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

 Your Excellency Mr. Wang Yi, the Honourable State Councillor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China 

Honourable Ministers of Foreign Affairs

I am pleased to thank the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for presenting the good initiative of holding Afghanistan neighbours’ conference the third round of which is convened today. I also need to sincerely appreciate the hospitality of the People’s Republic of China as the host of this meeting in the beautiful city of Tun Xi.

Distinguished colleagues

We are facing various challenges today in Afghanistan as well as hopes. Hope for the termination of a war which engaged various generations in the past forty years and inflicted heavy costs on the human and material resources of Afghanistan.

Hope for the Afghans’ interest in establishing peace and tranquillity, seriously opposing conflict and searching diplomatic solutions.

Hope for regional convergence especially between neighbours in helping Afghanistan.

Hope for the world community not to forget the problems and hardship of the people of Afghanistan. 

Still, there is fear of the activities of various terrorist groups such as Daesh inside Afghanistan.

Still, there is fear of conflict emanating from the intervention of occupiers against the oppressed people of this land.

Still, the financial resources of Afghanistan have not been transferred to the people of Afghanistan while its national wealth remain frozen. Afghanistan’s economy is not moving and the majority of the people are in hardship and pain.

Still, the main political promise for the formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all Afghans and tribes has not been fulfilled. 

The long-term experience of interaction between the countries of the region and Afghanistan’s people and political groups indicates that social delicacies and specifities are undeniable necessity in the political sphere of that country the overlooking of which has been the biggest factor behind the emergence of conflict and the main impediment to the survival of Afghanistan’s political establishment and structures. Today the necessity of forming an inclusive government with the effective and continued presence and participation of all Afghan tribal groups is an unavoidable reality. Our expectation is that the ruling establishment takes more practical measures in this respect.

Distinguished colleagues

The root cause of problems in Afghanistan is the long-term occupation and misguided policies of the occupiers and mainly the United States. Afghanistan’s long-term occupation did not contribute to its development but caused some sort of dependency which resulted in the collapse of Afghanistan’s political and economic structures when the occupiers withdrew and like always, left the oppressed people of Afghanistan as losers and victims. Regrettably it should be mentioned that such non-constructive approach is still continuing.

The first and most important outcome of this approach has been the continuation of difficult humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The United Nations reports indicate that more than half of the people of Afghanistan including women and children are in need of assistance while incapable of obtaining their basic needs. Therefore, at the moment, it is necessary for all the countries and particularly neighbouring countries to assist the people of Afghanistan in any way without highlighting political and legal issues. In this respect, the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the past several months, has distributed more than thirty consignments of humanitarian aid among the people of Afghanistan. Furthermore, my country has continued exporting basic commodities to Afghanistan and has kept its transit routes open to Afghanistan’s containers. Additionally, the Islamic Republic of Iran is hosting hundreds of thousands of homeless Afghan people and has announced readiness to cooperate with other interested countries in any form to assist Afghanistan.

Second, as I mentioned earlier, freezing the financial assets of the people of Afghanistan has further complicated the humanitarian situation by exacerbating conditions and plundering resources. All countries must act to release Afghanistan’s assets in any manner that could help the humanitarian situation.

The third issue is the recruitments by terrorist and radical groups. Expansion of Daesh terrorist activities in Afghanistan has left no room for doubt that we are in need of collective measures by the countries of the region to combat terrorism. I propose that we create a specific security mechanism within the framework of the current structures or an independent entity to coordinate counter-terrorism policies by the Afghanistan’s neighbours so as to facilitate and manage the collective measures and exchange of information.

Fourth is the wave of refugees who are seeking to exit Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic of Iran faced a new wave of human displacement months before the collapse of the Afghan government. This has been intensified in recent months and has reached 850 thousand. Now, on the basis of estimates, we are hosting about five million Afghan refugees in Iran, inflicting heavy costs on our country’s economy.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been hosting Afghan sisters and brothers in the past four decades like a good neighbour and has spared no efforts in improving the conditions of Afghan people in Iran or Afghanistan; however, difficult conditions imposed on Iran’s economy as the result of oppressive sanctions have made it very hard and almost impossible to allocate new resources for refugees. Therefore, it is necessary that respective international organizations and countries interested in helping the people of Afghanistan pay extra attention to the special living conditions of Afghan refugees in Iran.  

Dear Friends

To achieve a safe, secure and stable Afghanistan, the world community particularly us as Afghanistan’s neighbours must enhance cooperation and expand assistance to the people of Afghanistan and make efforts to strengthen political dialogue in Afghan society so that the ruling establishment and various social and political groups reach a better understanding and proximity and facilitate more interaction.

A united message and robust action by Afghanistan’s neighbours could help Afghanistan exit the status quo and play an important and constructive role in drawing a regional security system.   

Honourable Ministers

We should all join hands to prevent Afghanistan from turning once again into a battleground for political and military conflicts. Without doubt, the people of Afghanistan and neighbouring countries will be the first victims of the destructive outcomes of such a situation.

It is necessary that Afghanistan’s neighbours and friendly countries come up with relevant mechanisms to strengthen cooperation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.

Having a secure, stable and developed Afghanistan is our wish for each and every single one of Afghan sisters and brothers as well as the people of the region.

Once again, I would like to sincerely appreciate the valuable hospitality of the government of China and the leadership of my dear colleague His Excellency Mr. Wang Yi.

Wassalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatohu.

Thank you.

KI

News Code 185209

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