July 5, 2016
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says providing the central government in Afghanistan with full support is one of the fundamental policies of the Islamic Republic.
“We regard terrorist and extremist groups as a danger not only to the friendly and neighboring country of Afghanistan but to the entire region,” Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday on the auspicious occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
He expressed regret over the killing of innocent people in Afghanistan in terrorist attacks and hoped that terrorist groups would realize that they are taking steps in an incorrect path and therefore betraying the Afghan people and regional nations.
He added that the Iranian government and nation wish to see the establishment of stability and security in Afghanistan with an increasingly dynamic economy and said all must unite to boost the Afghan national government.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to expand Tehran-Kabul relations and the joint economic commission will play an important role in this regard,” the Iranian president said.
Afghanistan’s resolve to boost cooperation with Iran
The Afghan president, for his part, said his country is determined to improve relations with Iran in different fields.
Ghani added that the Iranian, Afghan and Indian presidents have set up an appropriate framework in Tehran for the expansion of cooperation which would lead to positive outcomes for the transit of commodities, trade investment and development of Chabahar Port.
On May 23, the Iranian president, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Afghan president signed a key trilateral deal, known as the Chabahar agreement, to establish a strategic transit and transport route connecting the three countries.
Chabahar is located in the Gulf of Oman on the border with Pakistan. It is Iran’s closest and best access point to the Indian Ocean.
Iran-Turkmenistan determination to boost trade
The Iranian president also said on Tuesday that Iran and Turkmenistan are determined to increase the value of trade exchanges to $60 billion within a 10-year period.
“Tehran and Ashgabat call for the strengthening of cooperation with the firm determination emanating from the will of the two nations,” Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.
He added that Iranian companies active in Turkmenistan are ready to play a bigger role in implementing projects in that country in different sectors including the construction of roads.
Deep bonds between Iranian-Turkmen nations
Berdymukhamedov, for his part, said the Iranian and Turkmen nations enjoy deep commonalities and bonds which have led to enhanced relations between the two countries.
Enhanced relations between Iran and Azerbaijan
In another telephone conversation on Tuesday, the Iranian president and his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev expressed the two countries’ readiness to strengthen cooperation in politics, economy and culture.