Iran denies supporting Afghan Taliban

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Iran denies supporting Afghan Taliban

KABUL: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed on Sunday the importance of fighting against the terrorist groups.

Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani.

There is no good or bad terrorist, and countries should cooperate with each other to make their borders more secure and combat terrorist groups, Zarif said in the meeting.

Zarif, who arrived here on Sunday morning to meet top Afghan officials, underlined that Tehran and Kabul should expand economic cooperation within the framework of their economic pact.

He then called for further bilateral ties to finalize the question of water between the two countries which would benefit the environment in the two countries.

In addition, the Iranian foreign minister called for solving the border problems and facilitating travel of nationals between the two countries.

For his part, the Afghan foreign minister appreciated Iran for hosting the Afghan immigrants and extending aid to the Afghan refugees.

Rabbani underlined the importance of boosting bilateral cooperation in counter-terrorism, business and completion of Chabahar and railroad projects.

Meanwhile, the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the Afghan National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar discussed issues of mutual interest in Kabul on Sunday.

Zarif said in the meeting that the two countries are brothers and enjoy the same culture and need to further bilateral cooperation.

Prior to the meeting, Zarif had met the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. In the meeting, various aspects of mutual ties, expansion of relations and the latest regional and global developments were discussed.

Earlier, Zarif heading a high-ranking political delegation arrived in the Afghan capital on Sunday morning to meet with the top Afghan officials.

Zarif has reportedly been visiting Afghanistan on an official invitation of his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Bahram Qasemi was quoted by state news agency, IRNA as saying that Zarif will hold talks on different aspects of Tehran-Kabul relations and the ways to promote the current level of bilateral ties as well as the latest international and regional developments during his visit to Kabul.

His visit to Afghanistan followed after an official visit he made to Islamabad.

According to the local media reports, the day-long visit to Pakistan took place on May 3 during which Zarif met top Pakistani officials on the recent terrorist attack near Iran-Pakistan border which resulted in killing of some Iranian border guards.

The sides would exchange views about ways to develop Tehran-Kabul relations and the latest regional and international developments, the Iranian spokesperson said.

Back in May 2016, Ghani traveled to Tehran to join the signing of a trilateral agreement between Afghanistan, India and Iran on establishing a strategic transit and transport route connecting the three countries without crossing Pakistan’s territory.