18 Dec 2019 12:33

Forces threatening regional security being exported from Afghanistan - Tehran

TEHRAN. Dec 18 (Interfax) - Foreign countries backing terrorist groups are provoking an escalation of tensions in Middle Eastern countries, Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani said at a meeting of Security Council secretaries and national security advisors on Afghanistan.

"We must be fully aware of the root of this evil, terrorism. We know perfectly well that foreign forces, which come to this region, not only promote the growth of terrorism, but also supply [terrorist fighters] with weapons," Shamkhani said.

The year, which has passed since the previous meeting, has seen plenty of events that imperil the security and stability of Middle Eastern countries, he said.

"For our region, terrorism and extremism are sources of misfortune and evil; unfortunately, they are threatening regional peace and stability. We have no other way but to work together and to cooperate," Shamkhani said.

Iran has been highlighting the situation in Afghanistan for more than 40 years, he said, adding that Afghanistan has become a collective problem for Middle Eastern countries.

"Regretfully, forces, which may endanger our security, are being exported from Afghanistan. Such events constitute a major challenge to our collective security. This meeting will address various aspects of the Afghan problem, as well as every aspect of possible solutions to these challenges," Shamkhani said.

Stronger security in Afghanistan will bolster peace and stability in the Middle East, he said.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and his delegation are representing Moscow at the meeting, which is taking place in Tehran on Wednesday. The meeting is also being attended by delegates from Afghanistan, China, India, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.