Iran, Tajikistan Stress Peaceful Solution to Afghan Crisis
TEHRAN (June 9) XINHUA - Iran and Tajikistan on Friday stressed the ongoing Afghan crisis should be solved by peaceful means instead of military means.
Through the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which Iran currently chairs, Iran has made efforts to find peace in Afghanistan by non-military channels, President Mohammad Khatami told his Tajik counterpart Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov.
During the meeting, Khatami also stressed Iran's support for cooperation of regional countries and international organizations in bringing an end to the Afghan crisis.
Rakhmonov said the Afghan crisis has no military solution and peace can only be achieved through talks, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Afghanistan has been torn by a bloody civil war since 1992 when militant Islamic groups toppled the former pro-Soviet government.
In 1996, the Afghan government under President Burhanuddin Rabbani was ousted by the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban militia, which is now controlling more than 90 percent of the country's territory.
Military clashes are continuing between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance headed by Rabbani, who has had Iran's support in the past years.
During Friday's talks, Khatami and Rakhmonov also called for more cooperation between their countries to boost bilateral ties, especially in the field of trade.
Rakhmonov arrived here early Friday to attend the summit of the 10-member Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) slated for Saturday. Pakistan's Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf, Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov and Azerbaijani President Geidar Aliyev have already arrived for the summit.
The ECO was founded by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey in 1985. It was subsequently joined by Afghanistan and the Central Asian and Caucasian republics of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan joined the group following the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
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