Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran supports the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan as a means to settle peace and stability in the country.

Raisi made the remarks on Thursday during a visit to Tajikistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, according to the Iranian presidential website.

In his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Raisi noted that the key to solving Afghanistan’s problems is to form an inclusive government and prevent foreign interference in the country’s affairs, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We should try to help Afghanistan form a government that includes all groups based on the will of the people of the country,” he was quoted as saying.

“The 20-year history of the presence of American and Western forces in Afghanistan had no result other than the destruction, displacement and killing of more than 35,000 children and thousands of Afghan men and women.

“The withdrawal of American forces is a historic opportunity for the formation of a popular government in Afghanistan and establishing peace in the country and region,” he added.

For his part, Khan was quoted by the Iranian readout as saying that a safe and secure Afghanistan will benefit all countries in the region and the world.

“If a comprehensive government is not formed in Afghanistan, the problems of the country will intensify and Pakistan and Iran will suffer more than any other country,” he stressed.

The Pakistani Prime Minister also suggested Iran and Pakistan work closely and interact with each other “for Afghanistan to successfully pass the stage of state-building and formation of an inclusive government”.

Meanwhile, in another meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Raisi said his country supports “the formation of a comprehensive government with the participation of all groups in Afghanistan, which will lead to the establishment of peace and stability in the country”.

–IANS

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