‘Troop pullout from Afghanistan must be supported’

Iran’s ambassador to the UN has called for international support for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by 2014.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Mohammad Khazaei expressed hope that the international community would also contribute to efforts to prepare Afghan forces to secure their country and confront terrorist threats when foreign troops pull out.

He said due regard should be paid to fighting the root causes of insecurity and instability in Afghanistan, particularly drug trade which serves as the financial lifeblood of extremists and terrorist groups.

He said prompt action should be taken to tackle the problems and challenges facing the war-torn country through international support and further efforts by the Afghan government.

The envoy noted the UN and the international community, especially Afghanistan’s neighbors, are resolute in helping restore security, stability and national unity to the country.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the country is still grappling with mounting insecurity despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops.

Iran, an immediate neighbor of Afghanistan, has repeatedly called for a regional solution to the crisis in the country and blamed the growing insecurity and drug trafficking in Afghanistan on the foreign military presence there.

Khazaei also said that Iran supports the Afghan government’s efforts to successfully hold presidential and provincial council elections in 2014. He stressed that the successful holding of the elections is key to the establishment of political stability and national unity in the Asian country.

The presidential and provincial council elections of Afghanistan are due to be held on April 5, 2014, months before the expected withdrawal of the US-led foreign forces from the war-ravaged country by December 2014.

The US, however, seeks to keep its military presence in Afghanistan after the deadline.

By Press TV


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