Tehran, Apr 14 (IANS): Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said that Afghanistan is in need of regional cooperation to solve its current challenges rather than the US-led intervention that had pushed the country toward poverty and instability.
Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks during a quadrilateral meeting with Chinese, Russian, and Pakistani representatives on the sidelines of the foreign ministers' meeting among the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry's website on Thursday.
He said Iran is concerned about the spread of terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan and the continuation of the wrong US policies in the country, adding that today, Afghanistan is more in need of regional cooperation and solutions, rather than the intervention by the US and the West that have pushed the Asian country toward poverty and instability.
He stressed that the US and its allies should be held to account as the occupiers of Afghanistan that had oppressed the country for two decades, and as UN members to be answerable for the current situation in the country, Xinhua news agency reported.
In the wake of the terror attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, the US launched the so-called war on terror in Afghanistan under the pretext of pursuing Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the terror attacks. In late August 2021, the US forces hastily withdrew from Afghanistan with a military defeat, leaving the war-torn country in insecurity and abject poverty.
The Iranian Foreign Minister highlighted the necessity of managing the economic situation in Afghanistan and cited the economic pressures in the country as a factor behind the increased migration of Afghan refugees to neighbouring countries, which has resulted in certain types of insecurity in these countries.
He added the US' 20-year presence in Afghanistan led to a significant increase in the cultivation and trafficking of opium in the country, noting that the role of "the Western countries' mafia network" is quite conspicuous in the expansion of the illegal drug trade.
Amir-Abdollahian also expressed concern about the Afghan women and girls having been deprived of education and the opportunity of being present in society, voicing Iran's readiness to offer further assistance in terms of providing education to Afghan girls and women with the UN' help.