Tehran, Kabul look to finalize long-term strategic pact

Afghan National Security Adviser Mohib held talks in Tehran, 1 week after Iran’s deputy foreign minister visited Kabul

Tehran, Kabul look to finalize long-term strategic pact

Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib held talks with his Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani in Tehran on Tuesday as the two countries look to finalize a long-term cooperation pact.

The talks between Shamkhani, who heads Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, and Mohib covered security cooperation between the two sides.

According to official sources, Iran and Afghanistan, which share a 582-mile long border, are on the verge of finalizing a comprehensive strategic agreement, which comprises five key elements.

While the two sides have agreed in principle on four parts of the agreement, the issue of security cooperation is still under discussion.

Shamkhani said he emphasized the “need for the US to leave the region, the need to create necessary infrastructure for the development of bilateral relations, Iran’s support to legitimate government of Afghanistan and the need for cooperation in destroying the Daesh/ISIS” terrorist group.

Mohib’s visit to Tehran comes after Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi visited Kabul last week. Araqchi said the agreement that “outlines the roadmap of long-term Iran-Afghanistan relations” would be “finalized soon”.

According to sources, the strategic pact deals with issues like bilateral trade, migrant issues, border management, water sharing, Iran’s support to the Afghan peace process and democratic processes.

There has been a flurry of diplomatic activities between the two countries recently. The head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah and Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar also visited Tehran in the recent period.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in an interview with an Afghan news channel that Tehran supports an inclusive government in Kabul, which includes Taliban.