Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan won’t deliver peace there. He was speaking in Kabul where he was warmly welcomed by his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai.
Iran has wide and growing influence in Afghanistan and Ahmadinejad’s visit is aimed at further developing bilateral ties. But he slammed Karzai’s ally, the US, accusing it of creating the terrorists it now says it is fighting.
As for Afghan-Iranian relations, Ahmadinejad said: “We are two great nations who share a common past and I have said to the president that we must find mutual benefits, areas of understanding between Iran and Afghanistan.”
After Helmand province, Kandahar will be NATO’s next target in its anti-Taliban crackdown. The US Defence Secretary was ending his three-day trip to Afghanistan as Ahmadinejad arrived. Robert Gates has called the Iranian President’s visit there “bothersome.”