Thursday, August 5, 2010

Iran's Ahmadinejad slams US at Afghan-Tajik summit

TEHRAN — Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday hosted a mini-summit with his Afghan and Tajik counterparts, Hamid Karzai and Emomali Rakhmon, and denounced the deployment of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

"Our security is linked. We suffer from what is happening in Afghanistan from an emotional and security point of view," Ahmadinejad said as the three leaders signed two cooperation accords in Tehran.

"The Afghan question must be resolved within the region, and experience has shown that others are unable to solve problems in the region, as they have been unable to do in Iraq," he said of the United States and its allies.

It was the fourth gathering between the tripartite group of Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan, which with a combined population of 110 million people share the Farsi language and Persian culture.

Kabul has good relations with Tehran despite being heavily reliant militarily and financially on the United States, which has been at loggerheads with the Islamic republic for decades.

Secret US military documents posted on whistleblower website WikiLeaks suggest that Iran provides hefty support to insurgents fighting US-led troops in Afghanistan. Ahmadinejad has denied the allegations.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the three presidents pledged to boost cooperation in transport and business as well as in "the fight against terrorism and drugs trafficking."

They also agreed Kabul would host their next round of talks.

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