President Rouhani supports cooperative ties with Kabul
TEHRAN (Pajhwok): Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday signalled his administration’s willingness to expand cooperative relations with Afghanistan.
At a meeting with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Rouhani said Iran was ready to step up cooperation with the war-torn country in economic and cultural fields.
According to the IRNA news agency, the Iranian leader hailed Afghanistan as friendly and brotherly nation. He expressed Tehran’s readiness for cooperation with Kabul in all fields of mutual interest.
While praising Iran's support to the people and government of Afghanistan, the CEO acknowledged his country had been in crisis for decades. The Iranians had firmly stood by the Afghans through thick and thin, he said.
He thanked the Iranian government for offering Afghan students admissions from the primary school to university level. “We would have needed great investments in training so many specialists...”
Meeting with FM Zarif
The CEO also met Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, who called for drawing up a roadmap for sustained ties between the neighbours in areas of transit, trade, security and judicial issues.
He lauded the Afghan government’s plan to hold peace talks with all domestic groups. The two sides agreed on the need for fighting the twin scourge of terrorism and extremism.
During his three-day state visit, Abdullah will visit the Chabahar port. He is the second Afghan official to visit Iran this year, with President Ashraf Ghani paying a trip to the country in April.
Gasoil & LPG
Afghanistan has evinced an interest in purchasing one million tonnes of gasoil and 200,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Iran annually.
Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh, after a meeting with Afghanistan’s Trade and Industries Minister Humayun Rasa, told reporters that talks on prices of the products were still ongoing.
He put the current export of gasoil to Afghanistan at about 200,000 tonnes a year, saying the landlocked country would enhance the annual imports to one million tonnes.
Call for unity
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei strongly supported security, peace and progress in Afghanistan. He hoped the government in Kabul would achieve its aim of uniting the Afghans.
With regard to friendly co-existence between Sunni and Shia groups in Afghanistan, the Ayatollah said discord and divergence could undermine the Afghan nation, known for its endurance and accommodation.
Currently 16,000 Afghan students were studying in Iranian schools and universities, he said, adding the government in Kabul would benefit from their expertise.
The supreme leader said that everybody had seen how many people killed in Afghanistan and the magnitude of damage inflicted on the country by Americans.
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