President Ghani extends condolences to Iran over deadly earthquake

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In a Thursday telephonic conversation with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani, Iranian President Rouhani thanked the Afghan people and government for sharing their grief and sorrow over the death of hundreds of people in a powerful earthquake in the border region between Iran and Iraq.

“There has always been this solidarity, brotherhood and sympathy between the two nations, and we should always stay beside each other,” the Iranian leader was quoted in a statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

During their conversation, the two leaders stressed expansion of bilateral cooperation in areas of railway, trade interactions, and transit of goods.

“Sustainable peace and security in Afghanistan is to benefit countries in the region, including Iran,” said Rouhani.

The Iranian president also praised the vigilance of the Afghanistan government in foiling plots aimed at dividing the nations.

President Ghani said one of the basic principles observed in Afghanistan was strengthening brotherly ties and unity among Shias and Sunnis. “We are not going to let enemies divide us,” he said.

He also said the Afghan government was serious in its fight against drug production and smuggling, calling for deepening of ties between Iran and Afghanistan.

Rouhani underlined the need for an all-out campaign against narcotics production and trafficking, calling for extensive international cooperation to eradicate the phenomenon.

The Iranian president stressed the importance of the promotion of Tehran-Kabul economic ties.

He added that the inauguration of the Port of Chabahar in southeastern Iran in the near future and connection of Iran-Afghan railway networks together and later to the International North–South Transport Corridor will enhance trade ties among the regional countries.

The North–South corridor is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route which connects India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

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