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US hasty measures, inattention to domestic issues behind crisis in Afghanistan: Iran

Iran's Foreign Ministry says hasty measures taken by the US administration to reach an agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan and inattention to the country’s domestic issues are the main reasons behind the current political crisis in the country following the recent presidential election.

“Giving priority to the US president’s propaganda needs for the forthcoming election in November and the irresponsible haste shown by this country to get negotiations [with the Taliban] going without due attention to the region’s interests and security, led to inattention to [Afghanistan’s] internal issues with the end result being the current situation,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The United States signed a deal with the Afghan Taliban in the Qatari capital, Doha, on February 29. Under the deal, the Taliban have agreed to sever ties with al-Qaeda and other terror groups and sit down for peace talks with the Afghan government. In return, Washington will start a phased withdrawal of troops.

The Afghan government was a party neither to the negotiations nor to the deal that was primarily aimed at reducing violence in the war-torn country.

Since it was signed, however, violence has escalated with the militants carrying out dozens of deadly attacks across the country.

On March 10, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the deal.

The deal came few days before a new row between Afghan President-elect Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah.

Afghan presidential rivals hold parallel inauguration ceremonies

Afghan presidential rivals hold parallel inauguration ceremoniesAfghan President-elect Ghani postpones his inauguration ceremony for several hours for more talks with his election rival Abdullah over the disputed presidential election.

Abdullah, who serves as the chief executive officer of the outgoing administration, has rejected a decision by Afghanistan’s Election Commission last month to announce Ghani as the winner of the presidential election, proclaiming himself to be president-elect. On March 9, Ghani and Abdullah both held inauguration ceremonies in the capital Kabul.

“With the differences between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah [still unresolved], unfortunately, we are still witnessing continuation of unilateral policies of the US administration and the victimization of the Afghan people’s national interests in order to serve propaganda purposes of that country’s [US] president,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in its statement, adding that the final outcomes of Washington’s policies are intensified crisis and political rifts in Afghanistan.

The Islamic Republic invites Afghanistan’s political leaders and regional countries to use their utmost capacities to find a solution to the current differences between the two leaders in line with the public interests of the Afghan people and in order to maintain peace and stability in the country, which would have great impact on the entire region, the ministry pointed out.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready, as it was in the past, to play an active role in regional efforts aimed at settling problems in Afghanistan and to use its capacities to establish peace and stability in Afghanistan and the entire region,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry concluded.

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