Talks with Kabul’s delegation regarding the Iran-Afghanistan water rights agreement were positive, Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan has said, Tasnim reported on Sunday.
Hassan Kazemi Qomi was part of the Iranian delegation who visited China last week for a conference on Afghanistan.
The Iranian team, led by Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, held talks with the Afghan side on the sidelines of the conference.
Foreign ministers or representatives from Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia attended the conference hosted by the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the city of Tunxi, East China’s Anhui Province.
Kazemi Qomi said the Taliban officials had agreed to commit themselves to Iran’s water rights in accordance with the existing agreement.
The Afghan delegation also stressed that Iran’s water rights are part of the Afghan government’s plans after returning to Kabul, Kazemi Qomi said.
Naturally, given the volume of interactions between Iran and Afghanistan and the cooperation that exists between the two nations, an emphasis was also placed on the meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors, Kazemi Qomi said.
The special envoy stated that border security, stability of Afghanistan and not a threat against neighboring countries from the Afghan territory were among the topics discussed.
Referring to the development of cooperation, he continued, “One of the important issues, as emphasized at the regional meeting of foreign ministers, is the formation of regional cooperation for the reconstruction and security of Afghanistan.
“Among the issues raised in the negotiations with the Kabul team was the emphasis on the issue of Iran’s water rights,” Kazemi Qomi said.
The Iranian representative quoted Kabul officials as saying, “They stressed that the water issue must be implemented as stated in the (1973) agreement. In our return to Kabul, we will seek to work within the framework of that agreement.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on February 10 that he was satisfied with good relations with Iran, adding that the Taliban administration is committed to Iran’s water rights.
Mujahid said that there has been a drought in Afghanistan in recent years, so if there is enough water on the Afghan side, Iran will definitely benefit from this water according to the existing agreements.
One day later, the Taliban Ministry of Water and Energy said in a statement that the Taliban government is “fully committed” to the existing agreement on Iran’s water rights.
The statement said, “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in connection with the management of water in the Helmand Sea, fully agrees with the technical contents, legal basis and protocols on Helmand Sea water concluded in 1973 between the governments of Afghanistan and Iran.”
The statement added, “We are ready to work with strong determination to implement this permanent agreement with our friendly, neighboring and Islamic country of Iran in an atmosphere of cooperation and trust.”
By TEHRAN TIMES