Iran’s envoy: ‘Independent Afghanistan’ can foster development with neighbors

Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan, File Photo.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Iran’s ambassador and special representative to Afghanistan, highlighted the potential of an “independent Afghanistan” to foster development processes with its neighbors, despite facing challenges in establishing a “regional contact group” due to differences among involved parties.

Qomi noted on Thursday in Kabul that he discussed the potential committee with Taliban officials, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the special representative of the Russian President, and a group of diplomats residing in the city.

He did not elaborate on these discussions but underscored that the “regional contact committee initiative has laid the groundwork for the first Afghanistan Regional Cooperation Conference.”

The Iranian diplomat emphasized that agreements that respect the sovereignty of nations, ensure the implementation of bilateral and international treaties, and promote good neighborliness and mutual interests are likely to be effective.

“The process of progress that has begun will not halt,” declared Qomi, affirming the steadfast commitment to advancing Afghanistan’s regional role.

“The firm resolve to achieve desirable outcomes and open Afghanistan to the world to play a responsible and positive role is unwavering,” he added.

Qomi cautioned that policymaking on critical issues should not be swayed by media statements and announcements.

This comes after the Express Tribune in Pakistan reported that efforts to form a regional contact group to address the Afghan crisis have stalled due to ongoing disagreements among the parties.

This initiative was previously proposed by Iran and mentioned by the United Nations Secretary-General following a meeting of special country representatives in Doha.

Following that meeting, the Taliban hosted a conference called “Afghan Regional Cooperation Initiative” in Kabul with representatives from regional countries participating.