Tehran Meeting Calls for US To Release Frozen Afghan Assets – The Media Line

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Tehran on Saturday hosted the second meeting of the regional contact group for Afghanistan, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported. The gathering included special representatives from Iran, China, Russia, and Pakistan and was held at the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Political and International Studies.

In a message to the meeting, Iranian caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani called for the United States to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets. Bagheri Kani noted that nearly three years had passed since US troops withdrew from Afghanistan, yet the country continued to grapple with significant economic and developmental challenges.

Bagheri Kani pointed out that while Afghanistan’s caretaker government had made progress in addressing some issues, the freezing of its assets had impeded postwar recovery. He emphasized the need for the US to unfreeze these assets to aid Afghanistan’s recovery process.

At a press conference following the meeting, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Tehran’s ambassador to Kabul and the Iranian president’s special envoy on Afghanistan affairs, stressed the importance of resolving Afghanistan’s problems through regional dialogue and cooperation. Qomi emphasized that combating terrorism and improving humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan required collaboration among neighboring countries.

The discussions also covered security along shared borders and issues concerning Afghan refugees. Qomi criticized the US for its prolonged occupation of Afghanistan and insisted that the US should be held accountable for the ongoing difficulties the country faces.

The US military withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, ending a 20-year presence that began after the September 11, 2001, attacks by al-Qaida. Al-Qaida has long been allied with the Taliban, using Afghanistan as a base for training and planning attacks under their protection. The US invasion sought to dismantle al-Qaida and remove the Taliban from power for harboring the terrorist group.

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