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Afghan Grandees Insist on Formation of Inclusive Government: Velayati

Ali Akbar Velayati, an international adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, said he has held talks with several grandees and leading figures of Afghanistan, who have maintained that their country requires an inclusive government involving all ethnic groups.

In an exclusive interview with Tasnim on Wednesday, Velayati expounded on Iran’s stances on the latest developments in Afghanistan following the humiliating withdrawal of the US from the neighboring country.

The former foreign minister made it clear that Iran would never interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, stressing that it is up to the Afghan people to decide the fate of their own country.

“We respect whatever decision the people of Afghanistan make,” he noted.

Velayati said he has held talks with 11 grandees of Afghanistan over the past few days, including the leading figures representing the Pashtun, Tajik, Shiite, Sunni, and Hazara ethnic groups, who had played a role in the struggle against the Soviet Union.

“It seems that the grandees of that country believe that the future government of Afghanistan must be a combination of all groups. So, the grandees and those who have a record in fighting against the Soviet Union and the US believe unanimously that an inclusive government consisted of all ethnicities must be formed,” he noted.

Velayati further said that the Afghan figures are opposed to any change to the Constitution of Afghanistan, which is a legacy of thousands of martyrs and the Afghan people’s long struggles.

He emphasized that the American propaganda campaign could not result in a change to the Constitution of Afghanistan, which has not been achieved easily.

“I am confident that the Americans’ attempt to change that country’s (Afghanistan’s) Constitution will get nowhere with the Afghan people’s firm resolve and national solidarity,” the Iranian official stated.

Highlighting the historical, religious and cultural commonalities between Iran and Afghanistan, Velayati stressed the need for an end to the tensions and crises that the foreigners have created in Afghanistan.

“The US interference in Afghanistan has harmed the Afghan people. Moreover, the people of that country have learnt that they should not give in to force. They (Afghans) will stand against anything being imposed on them,” he added.

Velayati then reminded the US that the withdrawal of its troops from the region would not mean that it can maintain its presence in the region in other forms, because the people of the region are vigilant.

“The dark record of Americans in various countries reveals that the presence of Americans with the purpose of exploitation and taking advantage of people of the world has no place today anymore, specifically in our region and West Asia, or in other terms, which is incorrect, the Middle East,” he said.

Velayati finally warned the US that if it seeks to return to Iraq and Afghanistan with different methods, the people of those countries are such wise that they will stand against the US and won’t tolerate the Americans anymore.

The Taliban have taken over Afghanistan following the United States’ abrupt military withdrawal that put an end to a futile two-decade war.

The ill-prepared US pullout plunged Afghanistan into chaos, with thousands of people still at Kabul’s international airport racing to flee the country.

Tehran has recommended that Afghan groups should seize the opportunity provided by the pullout of the foreign troops to form an inclusive government with amicable relations with neighbors.

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