Kabul to declare stance on Saudi-led bloc after review
According to a statement from the National Security Council (NSC), NSA Hanif Atmar expressed these views during a meeting with Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Reza Bahrami in Kabul.
The Iranian envoy and Atmar discussed economic and security cooperation between the two nations, the statement said, adding Bahrami assured his country’s support for improvement in security, political and economic relations with Afghanistan.
About the newly-formed Saudi-led alliance, the statement quoted Atmar as saying that Afghanistan would announce its stance in this regard after an inclusive study.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia said it had formed a 34-nation military block to fight extremism and terrorism in the Islamic world.
Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Gulf Arab states and African Islamic states are part of the coalition aimed at protecting Islamic countries from terrorist groups and organizations irrespective of their sect and origin. Saudi also asked Afghanistan to join the military block which will collectively act against terrorists and eliminate their networks.
Saudi Arabia defense minister Mohamamd Bin Salman Al Saud had said that the military alliance would advance efforts at eliminating terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Afghanistan.
The Afghan government last year supported Saudi Arabia operations in Yemen amid opposition from some political parties at home.
A day earlier, Saudi Ambassador Abdul Rahman Al Ghasib, during a meeting with Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabani, said Afghanistan should be part of the alliance. Rabbani said the Afghan government would decide soon to join the Saudi-led coalition.
Some political experts said Saudi Arabia and Iran were locked in disagreements over some regional issues and Afghanistan should therefore be careful in becoming part of the alliance.
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