Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with Chief Executive Officer of the Afghanistan’s government, Abdullah Abdullah, on Tuesday (2016/01/05), highlighted the “unity among various peoples” in Afghanistan as the most important solution to the country’s problems.
Referring to the history and plethora of potentialities for cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The Islamic Republic of Iran considers ‘Afghanistan’s security, calm and progress’ as its own ‘security and progress’.”
Ayatollah Khamenei praised the initiative of forming the national unity government in Afghanistan, and while expressing hope for the resolution of the country’s problems, added: “God willing, the national unity government will take its real shape, because the remedy to the problems in Afghanistan is real unity among ethnic groups and officials.”
Pointing to the history of peaceful coexistence between Shias and Sunnis and different ethnic groups in Afghanistan, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Since ancient times, we knew the Afghan people as patient, content, hard-working and faithful people endowed with literary flair, but ethnic disputes and existing grounds for discord weaken every nation.”
Recalling Iran’s support for the Afghan nation, including the Islamic Republic’s unique opposition to the 1979 Soviet occupation of the country and its support for the Afghan Mujahideen, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The Islamic Republic is still standing by Afghanistan and is hosting around 3 million of its nationals.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the presence of 16,000 Afghan students and graduates in Iran is a valuable opportunity for Afghanistan, noting: “The government of Afghanistan must offer incentives [in a bid] to encourage these graduates [to go] back [to their homeland] and serve their country.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to Iran’s myriad capacities and potentialities in different scientific, technical and economic sectors as well as the existence of rich natural and human resources in Afghanistan, adding: “Boosting the level of cooperation [between the two countries] would be in the interest of both parties and some differences like the issue of border waters must be resolved through friendship and cooperation.”
Ayatollah Khamenei criticized the policy that seeks to isolate Afghan Mujahideen (former anti-Soviet combatants) in recent years, saying: “Isolating the Mujahideen with titles like ‘warlords’ is a wrong policy and in a country, which is open to military invasion and an overarching sedition, people themselves must be ready to defend their country with a combatant spirit.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said lack of self-defense capacity will clear the way for the entry and interference of foreigners, adding: “We saw how the Americans killed people in Afghanistan and inflicted great losses [on them], yet they have no intention of giving up [the country].”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also praised the Afghan people’s spirit of resistance against the occupation and aggressive acts of “Britain, the [former] Soviet Union, and in recent years, America,” saying: “The spirit of resistance and faithfulness among Afghan people is very deep-seated and it is well-known in history that no occupier has been able to stay in Afghanistan.”
During the meeting, which was also attended by Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, Mr. Abdullah Abdullah offered gratitude to Iran for the support it has lent the Afghan government and nation, saying: “The establishment of the national unity government in Afghanistan was a good formula and prevented many problems.”
The chief executive officer of the Afghan government said the main challenge in his country was insecurity and the presence of terrorist groups, adding: “By trusting in God, [as well as] people’s unity and support, and through cooperation and support of Iranian brethren and friends, which have continued since the time of [anti-Soviet] jihad and resistance, we will try to resolve the [existing] problems and provide justice in all sectors.”
Mr. Abdullah appreciated Ayatollah Khamenei’s support for the Afghan nation and his recent command to the government to facilitate education of Afghan schoolchildren in Iran, saying: “Such valuable supports have imparted a special and prominent status to Iran in the eyes of the nation and government of Afghanistan.”
“There are good grounds for Iran-Afghanistan cooperation, which through negotiations with Iranian officials, we will try to examine and pursue ways of increasing cooperation,” Abdullah added.