Raisi calls for cooperation between Iran, Pakistan to promote ‘calm’ in Afghanistan
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called on Thursday for cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, to promote “security and calm” in Afghanistan.
His remarks were made during a meeting with Pakistan’s top diplomat Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Tehran, who also met his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
“The US presence in Afghanistan and the region does not provide security, and countries should help different groups in Afghanistan to form an inclusive and participatory government,” the Iranian presidency website quoted Raisi as saying.
He rejected what he described as a “guardianship” role which he said the US used as a failed model to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan.
Instead, he called for neighboring countries to act as “facilitators” for the “establishment of an inclusive and participatory government with the presence of all Afghan groups.”
“The presence of the US and foreigners in the region does not contribute to security, it creates problems instead, and countries in the region, especially Iran and Pakistan, can work together to provide the ground for ethnic and active groups in Afghanistan to establish security and peace in the country so that they can decide their own destiny,” Raisi said.
Iran and Pakistan are the top host countries of Afghan refugees in the world.
“Iran hosts about 4 million people of Afghanistan and has always been, and will continue to support the Afghan people,” Raisi added.
The Taliban seized Afghanistan's capital on August 15 as US-led troops withdrew and the Afghan army collapsed.
Analysts say the Taliban's advances have put neighboring Iran on edge, but the majority Shia Iran is taking a pragmatic stance on the hardline Sunni group's resurgence.
Tehran never recognized the Taliban during its first period ruling Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, and the two sides had tense ties.
But Iran has stressed in recent months that the Taliban must be “part of a future solution” in Afghanistan.