President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stressed the importance of promoting relations with neighbors, calling for closer cooperation with Afghanistan.
"The Islamic Republic has always stood by the Afghan people and supports the restoration of stability and progress in Afghanistan,” Fars News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in a meeting with the visiting Afghan Minister of Finance Omar Zakhilwal on Sunday.
"Iran accords priority to the expansion of economic exchanges with its neighbors and sees no limit on bolstering economic cooperation with Afghanistan.”
The president highlighted the significance of establishing security and political stability in Afghanistan and urged the US-led occupiers to leave the war-ravaged country sooner rather than later.
Ahmadinejad criticized certain countries for spending billions on militarism in Afghanistan and said "If that money is spent on reconstruction, security and progress, it would have been much more effective in resolving its problems.”
Afghanistan has been under a US-led NATO occupation since late 2001 and currently around 150,000 foreign forces are stationed in the country.
Despite that, production of narcotics and violence has seen a rapid increase in recent years, turning Afghanistan into the world’s number one narcotics producer. Zakhilwal said Tehran and Kabul enjoy growing economic cooperation and added that his government wants to promote relations with Iran.
The minister, who has also served as the chief economic advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, added that despite pressures, Kabul seeks complete independence for the country.