Iran stresses Afghanistan’s role in bilateral, regional trade

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi

Press TV -(Wed Jul 10, 2013) Iran has stressed the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan, stating that Kabul plays a key role in promoting bilateral and regional trade.

“A peaceful and stable Afghanistan can play an efficient role in the promotion of trade and the transit (of goods) between the two countries and in the region,” said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Abbas Araqchi in a joint statement issued following a meeting with Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ershad Ahmadi on Tuesday. 
Araqchi said Iran backs the Afghan peace process led by the Kabul government and based on the Afghan constitution. 
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the country is still grappling with insecurity. 
In the joint statement, the Iranian and Afghan sides emphasized that Iran and Afghanistan would not allow their territories to be used for any possible threats against one another. 
They also urged closer cooperation in fighting terrorism, extremism and narcotics. 
Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe. 
Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting the drug smuggling over the past three decades. Iran has spent more than USD 700 million to seal the borders and prevent the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries.

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