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Iran Blames 'Occupying Forces' for Afghanistan's Woes in Regional Contact Group Discourse

© AP Photo / Ebrahim NorooziAfghan people wait to receive food rations distributed by a Chinese humanitarian aid group, during the holy month of Ramadan, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, April 30, 2022.
Afghan people wait to receive food rations distributed by a Chinese humanitarian aid group, during the holy month of Ramadan, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, April 30, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 08.06.2024
The forces that occupied Afghanistan, accountable for the destruction of its economic infrastructure during their presence and leaving the nation in a state of ruin upon their departure, must offer compensation for the country's economic setbacks without political intervention, according to Iran’s acting foreign minister.
Hassan Kazmi Qomi, the Iranian president's special representative for Afghanistan affairs, emphasized the significance of considering the repercussions of ongoing events in the region at a quadripartite meeting of the Regional Contact Group on Afghanistan on Saturday.
He stated that the agenda would include deliberations on engaging with the interim government and agreeing on convening the third session of the regional contact group.
The regional contact group meeting for Afghanistan took place in Tehran with the presence of representatives of Russia, China, Pakistan, and Iran.
Meanwhile, Zakir Jalaly, director of the Third Political Division at Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry, stated on Saturday that the Islamic Emirate had declined an invitation to attend a regional meeting.
“The Afghan government is engaged in discussions with the relevant parties regarding the Third Doha meeting”, Jalaly shared on X (formerly Twitter).

Afghanistan's Key Challenges Stem from Occupation, Economic Stagnation, and Imposed Underdevelopment

During the meeting, Iran's deputy foreign minister, Rasul Mousavi, conveyed a message on behalf of Ali Bagheri, the acting foreign minister, stating that the main issues in Afghanistan result from its occupation, the neglect of economic growth, and the imposition of underdevelopment by the occupiers.

“The root cause of most of [the] problems and challenges in Afghanistan lies with the occupation of this country and lack of attention to its economic development and growth, and the imposition of underdevelopment on it by the occupiers”, the statement affirmed.

Bagheri contended that despite the departure of occupying forces from Afghan territory, they continue to impede the country's development by withholding assets belonging to the Afghan people.

“Today, although the occupiers have left Afghan soil, they are practically creating obstacles to the development of the country by blocking assets of the Afghan people”, the statement reads.

He stressed that Iran consistently supports any constructive initiatives aimed at fostering peace, stability, and development in Afghanistan.

“If Afghanistan is facing the problem of underdevelopment and severe economic problems today, it must be admitted that the responsibility of this underdevelopment and economic problems lies with the occupiers of this land”, Iran's acting foreign minister insisted.

He argued that the occupying forces, responsible for destroying Afghanistan's economic infrastructure during their tenure and leaving the nation in a state of devastation upon departure, must provide compensation for the country's economic setbacks without any political interference.

Bagheri also underscored the importance of Afghanistan's future and reiterated the necessity of establishing a unified government inclusive of all tribal groups in the country.

Meanwhile, in a press conference on Friday, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, spokesperson for Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, emphasized the significance of regional cooperation, particularly among Afghanistan's neighbours, to jointly “consult and work for ensuring peace, stability and security in Afghanistan, to ensure that Afghanistan is not a source of terrorism in the region and to support Afghanistan’s efforts for the economic well-being of its people”.
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