Khatami Calls for International Action to Save Afghanistan
Iranian President Mohammed Khatami called for international action Monday to save the people of neighboring Afghanistan, hit by civil war and drought, state radio reported Monday.
Speaking with UN chief Kofi Annan's special envoy for Afghanistan Francesc Vendrell, Khatami said, "We must all act to prevent tragedy and under-development in Afghanistan and save the Afghan people," he said.
Iran does not recognize the Taliban regime, which rules most of Afghanistan, supporting the ousted regime of Burhanuddin Rabbani. It accuses the Taliban of sponsoring the trade in drugs, much of which passes through Iran.
Vendrell, who has made several trips to Iran to meet Iranian and exiled Afghan opposition leaders, briefed Khatami on the situation in Afghanistan, where fierce fighting has been taking place in the northeast.
On Sunday half of the 290 members of the Iranian parliament sent a letter to Khatami, asking him to order preparations to get rid of Afghan refugees in Iran, whom they accused of "creating problems." – TEHRAN (AFP)
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