News ID: 301740
Published: 0331 GMT March 29, 2021

Certain countries, groups annoyed by Iran-Afghanistan cordial ties: FM Zarif

Certain countries, groups annoyed by Iran-Afghanistan cordial ties: FM Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said certain countries and political groups are unhappy with cordial ties between Iran and Afghanistan and are endeavoring to undermine those relations.

“The effort made by some parties to disturb the public opinion [in Iran and Afghanistan] shows that some countries and [political] currents are not happy with the close relations between Iran and Afghanistan,” Zarif said in a Monday meeting with his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Monday, Press TV reported.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of a regional conference in the capital city of Tajikistan.

He added that some consular restrictions for Afghan nationals living in Iran have been removed in order to battle human trafficking, stressing the importance of making more efforts to clarify the reasons behind the Afghans' presence in Iran.

The Afghan foreign minister, for his part, appreciated Tehran's assistance to his country for containing a recent conflagration at customs outposts near the border with Iran.

Atmar described Iran as the closest friend of Afghanistan and called for further expansion of constructive cooperation and consultations between the two countries in economic and political fields.

He also expressed Afghanistan's readiness to hold joint committee meetings with Iran within weeks.


Era of unipolarity, Western hegemony over: Zarif

Earlier in the day, in a separate meeting with Executive Director of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Kairat Sarybay, the Iranian foreign minister said the era of unipolarity and Western hegemony in the international system has come to an end.

Zarif held the meetings on the sidelines of the 9th ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia–Istanbul Process conference.

During his meeting with Sarybay, Iran's foreign minister said Asian and regional states are playing an important role in the current equation of international relations.

Sarybay, for his part, hailed Iran's contribution to CICA activities in the region and briefed the Iranian foreign minister on the organization's future plans.


Iran plays constructive role in Afghanistan's political developments: India FM

In another development on Monday, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said Iran plays a constructive and effective role in political developments in Afghanistan.

Jaishankar's remarks came in a meeting with the top Iranian diplomat, during which the Indian side added that regional countries, particularly Iran and India, should strengthen cooperation to consolidate peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Zarif and Jaishankar discussed leading mutual, regional and international issues as well as the latest political developments in Afghanistan and ways to help the war-torn country establish peace.

The Iranian and Indian foreign ministers also exchanged views about economic and transit cooperation, with Jaishankar expressing his country's readiness to increase trade ties with Tehran.

The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was launched in Istanbul in 2011 as a platform for promoting regional security, economic, and political cooperation centered on Afghanistan. The mechanism specifies dialogue and confidence-building measures as the main vehicles that it uses to implement the goals.

The Heart of Asia is comprised of 15 countries, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan Republic, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The previous meetings of the Heart of Asia conference have been held from 2011 to 2019 in Istanbul, Kabul, Almaty, Beijing, Islamabad, Amritsar, Baku and Istanbul.

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