Top Diplomat, UN Chief Discuss Afghanistan, Yemen, Vienna Talks
EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met on Friday on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference where they discussed a range of topics, including the situation in Afghanistan and Yemen, as well as the latest status of talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal in the Austrian capital Vienna.
The Iranian top diplomat stressed the need to continue delivering humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, adding that an inclusive government with the participation of all political groups is essential to addressing issues in the war-torn country, IRNA reported.
He expressed regret about the continued massive influx of displaced Afghans into Iran, the dangers arising from the growth of terrorism and the production and smuggling of drugs in this country, which also negatively affect the stability and security of the region and the world.
Amir-Abdollahian called for increased aid and services from the UN and the High Commissioner for Refugees to Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, with Iran on top of them.
The UN chief expressed appreciation for Iran’s approach to the issue of Afghan refugees which has got into a “dangerous and critical” state.
He acknowledged the limited assistance given to Iran by international organizations in this regard, stressing the need to expand such global support.
Guterres highlighted the international community’s concerns about Afghanistan, including preventing the spread of terrorism and addressing humanitarian issues such as upholding the right of Afghan women to education.
He also underlined the need to support Afghanistan’s economy to prevent it from collapse, as it would have severe consequences for the stability and security of this country, as well as the region and the world.
Afghanistan has been facing a chaotic situation since the United States and coalition forces irresponsibly exited last year which led to the Taliban’s takeover.
“We, too, think that the Afghan government must be inclusive and that a single-ethnicity government is not the way to resolve problems in Afghanistan,” Guterres said.
The two senior officials also discussed the situation in Yemen, where a civil war has been going on for over seven years between Houthi forces and supporters of the ousted government.
Amir-Abdollahian said the conflict in Yemen has reached a critical point and maximum effort is required today for the political resolution of this crisis to prevent the persistence of this humanitarian catastrophe.
He emphasized the important role of the UN secretary-general to help address the Yemeni issue and end aggression and war in this country.
Guterres said the continuation of this humanitarian disaster is not appropriate for the world, adding that peace and stability need to be restored to Yemen.
He called on all engaged parties and other countries to help adopt a political solution to the crisis.
Quality of Agreement
Negotiations to restore Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was another topic of discussion between the two officials.
The talks aim to work out how the United States, who quit the pact and reimposed sanctions on Tehran in 2018, and Iran, who rolled back on its commitments in response, can return to full compliance.
Amir-Abdollahian said progress has been significant in the negotiations, but the other side still needs to make important political decisions and show practical will with regard to some key issues to ensure Iran’s legitimate rights and interests.
Guterres said everyone is waiting for an agreement accepted by all, so that it can be implemented as soon as possible by both sides in a way that Iran’s interests are secured.
The Iranian foreign minister also met his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, on the sidelines of the Munich event and exchanged views on issues of common concern, including the Vienna talks.
He said Tehran has had a serious determination for a good agreement from the first day of talks.
“Iran expects that European JCPOA parties consider the Islamic Republic’s redlines carefully and after years of inaction, play an effective role in upholding the legitimate rights of Iran as the party who suffered damage from the US unilateral and unlawful exit,” he said.
Referring to western parties’ tendency to set artificial deadlines for talks, he said Tehran considers the quality of an agreement alongside the element of time.
“If Iran’s legitimate demands are attended to on this very day, we can reach an agreement in Vienna,” he said.
It is essential in these final stages of negotiations that the other side do not make miscalculations and avoid directing the talks into the media space, he added.
Baerbock said the negotiations are at a sensitive juncture where all sides need to try their best so that they can cross this stage in the shortest possible time and enter a new chapter.
Highlighting the need to safeguard Iran’s rights, she called for maximized efforts to reach a good deal in Vienna.