President Hassan Rouhani expressed Iran’s support for the peace process in Afghanistan led by the Kabul government, hoping that negotiations would bear fruit with the inclusion of all Afghan groups.
"Iran has always supported the peace process led by the Afghan government and we hope that intra-Afghan talks pivoting around the legitimate government all political groups in Afghanistan and the Taliban will yield results according to the Constitution," Rouhani told his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani over the phone on Saturday, according to Tasnim.
Rouhani noted that peace in Afghanistan would stabilize the entire region, saying: "The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stood by the people and the government of Afghanistan for peace and stability, and the role of the Afghan government in international efforts with the aim of achieving peace is important for Iran."
Rouhani expressed satisfaction with the enforcement of a cease-fire between the Afghan government and the Taliban militant group and hoped for the reduction of violence in the country.
“Iran is determined to always deepen relations with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan based on historical and cultural common grounds and strengthening these relations by taking advantage of economic, trade and transit capacity between the two countries," the Iranian president said.
Rouhani said the comprehensive document on Iran-Afghanistan cooperation should be completed soon. "If the situation caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus allows, we can hold an important meeting in the coming months."
He said Tehran and Kabul should speed up the word for the launch of a railway that links the city of Khaf in northeastern Iran to Afghanistan’s the third-largest city of Herat.
Ghani appreciated the goodwill, cooperation and support of Iran for Afghanistan, including medical and health services to Afghan refugees in Iran during the coronavirus pandemic.
He also praised interaction between private sectors of the two countries.
The Afghan president also thanked Iran for supporting the peace process in Afghanistan.
"I hope Iran's support for the peace process brings about more peace and security to the region," he said.
Iran committed to regional peace
Rouhani also had a phone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi during which he highlighted Iran’s resolve in ensuring stability across the region.
The president noted that Iran honors all its commitments to the regional stability.
“However, the US is unfortunately sending wrong signals and messages by attempting to hatch new plots against Iran,” he said, pointing to the US warplanes’ fly-by of an Iranian airliner over Syria last month that led to the injuries of several passengers on board.
Rouhanidescribed Kadhimi’s visit to Tehran last month as constructive. "The visit and the agreements reached during it are positive developments and will create a step forward in the relations between the two countries.”
"The beginning of the construction of the railway between Iran and Iraq will be a hope for the two nations and a beginning for creating a new momentum in further developing the bilateral interactions,” Rouhani said.
Iran welcomes Iraq’s leading role in the region, he added.
Kadhimi said bilateral ties “can be quickly upgraded to an excellent level” through sincere cooperation.
The Iraqi prime minister said he formed committees to implement the agreements and joint projects with Iran after returning from the visit to Iran.
"The Iraqi authorities are determined to remove all obstacles in the path to developing relations with Iran and we are interested in completing the Iran-Iraq railway project as soon as possible,” he said.
"Iraq's key policy is to reduce tensions and increase stability in the region, and we seek to play a positive role in this regard with the cooperation and support of our brothers in Iran," Kadhimi added.