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September 10, 2019

Defeated foreigners must leave Afghanistan, says Iran

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September 10, 2019

TEHRAN: A day after US President Donald Trump called off negotiations with the Taliban, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that he is “gravely concerned" about Afghanistan".

"Defeated foreigners must leave and fratricide must end; especially as foreigners can exploit the situation, bringing renewed bloodshed,” Mr Zarif said in a tweet.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran warns that foreigners and aggressors may cash in on the new situation in this country and trigger a fresh round of killing and bloodshed in Afghanistan,” Mr Zarif said as quoted by Iran’s IFP news.

“From our standpoint, aggressors and occupiers must concede defeat and leave Afghanistan as soon as possible,” he said. Mr. Zarif said Tehran is urging all sides involved in the conflict to exercise self-restraint. “The Islamic Republic of Iran calls on all warring sides to exercise restraint, stop fratricide and seriously avoid shedding the blood of innocent people and individuals until a permanent ceasefire and national reconciliation agreement is reached,” he said.

Mr Zarif underlined Iran’s readiness to contribute to efforts aimed at securing a reconciliation accord.

“While respecting Afghanistan’s sovereignty and stressing that any peace process should be owned and directed by Afghan people from all walks of life, the Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to take part in consultations and discussions with all warring sides in Afghanistan in a regional initiative together with Afghanistan’s neighbours and government as well as all groups in the country in order to stop the shedding of innocent people’s blood and ease the achievement of a lasting agreement, and will spare no sincere and nonpartisan effort in that regard,” he said.

Meantime, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and added that both sides must re-engage to find negotiated peace from the ongoing political settlement process.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said that Pakistan has been facilitating the peace and reconciliation process in good faith and as a shared responsibility and has encouraged all sides to remain engaged with sincerity and patience. -- Agencies

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