Iran slams Western powers’ attempts to negotiate with Taliban

October 15th, 2008 - 10:54 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanNew York, Oct 15 (IANS) Iran has strongly criticised the attempts by the Western governments to negotiate with the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan to restore peace and stability in the war-ravaged country, the official IRNA news agency reported Wednesday.”Afghanistan is suffering from insecurity, cultivation of poppy and drug trafficking as well as the humanitarian crisis and the collusion with the terrorists will deteriorate the situation in Afghanistan,” Iran’s permanent ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, told the UN Security Council session on Afghanistan in New York Tuesday.

“This move will lead to return of extremism in Afghanistan which will not only fail to resolve the country’s problems but intensify insecurity,” he warned.

Khazaee said the Western governments should come forward to help upgrade the living standard of the Afghans rather engaging in deadly military operations there.

He called for developing infrastructure and capacity building in agriculture sector and contribution to education in Afghanistan.

“Iran believes practical steps should be taken to strengthen the Afghan army and national police and speed up transition from security administration to the political system or the Afghan government,” the Iranian diplomat said.

Khazaee expressed concern about deaths of innocent civilians in Afghanistan saying that the international community is growingly worried about the civilians falling victims to either the military operations of foreign forces in Afghanistan, a reference to US-led bombardment of civilian targets in Azizabad or the terrorist operations.

The illicit drugs being produced in Afghanistan have posed serious threat to the region and the entire world, he said, adding that Iran has launched serious campaign against drug trafficking and expects the international community to follow suit.

The diplomat however gave credit to his country by saying Iran has hosted three million Afghan refugees over the past three decades and appealed for contribution of the international community to repatriate the illegal Afghan immigrants from Iran.

He said that currently there are 950,000 registered Afghan refugees and over one million illegal Afghan immigrants in Iran.

“Iran has extended extensive assistance to the Afghan people over the past several years and supports the democratic government in Afghanistan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief United Nations Envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide presented a report to the Security Council at the beginning of the session and then representatives of the member states put forward their views about Afghanistan.

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