Afghanistan's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah said his tour to the Islamic Republic of Iran was constructive and said the two countries have agreed to expand bilateral ties in a number of sectors including trade and commercial relations, counter terror cooperation, drug trafficking and investment.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday after returning from Iran, Abdullah said that the two countries signed at least three accords during his tour to Tehran, adding that Iran has shown its willingness to support Afghanistan over the establishment of the Chabahar-Zaranj railway line.
On a question asked regarding Afghans willing to work in Iran, the CEO said that an agreement had been reached with Iran on exporting Afghan workers through legal ways.
"Iran has hosted millions of Afghan refugees over the past three decades. We discussed education facilities for the children of Afghan refugees in Iran and the protection of Afghan refugees in that country," Abdullah said.
He also said that a joint Afghanistan-Iran economic commission will soon be established.
Abdullah stated that Afghanistan and Iran started talks on the Chabahar port twelve years ago, but investments have only come in over the past two years.
"Chabahar can leverage economic cooperation and business in the region. Already 60 Afghan businessmen have invested in the port," he said.
Abdullah says facilities provided for investment in Chabahar are exceptional. It is a tax and visa free zone for business.
Meanwhile, construction is underway on Chabahar and "this will open a new chapter of trade and transit ties in the region", he added.
On the issue of terrorism, Abdullah said that terrorism and drug trafficking were also discussed with the Iranian officials on how to curb the scourge.
The CEO said that Iran has major potential in business and capacity building, adding Afghans may learn from the expertise Iran has made in the economic sector.
Referring to his tour to Chabahar port, CEO Abdullah said that investments by the Iranian government have been substantial over the past two years which can be helpful at bolstering work and investments in the region.
"Chabahar is a good alternative route to Afghanistan, while trade balance and capacity building were also discussed," he said. "Iran also vowed to share their expertise with Afghans. Iran also pledged to fund the third phase of the railway line to Herat."
Elaborating on the economic significance of the port on regional economic interaction, Abdullah said that a trilateral meeting between representatives from Afghanistan, Iran and India will soon meet to discuss the ongoing work on Chabahar.
He said that Iran has been playing a constructive role in the reconstruction process in Afghanistan.
Reacting to the recent spate of terror attacks across the nation, Abdullah maintained that in the past few weeks the country has been coping with waves of attacks which is quit concerning.
He expressed hope that the recent diplomatic outreach for resuming the stalled talks with the Taliban will be groundbreaking talks, however he said that Afghanistan will never forfeit the gains the country has made since the downfall of the Taliban regime.
Abdullah says terrorists and extremists must be tackled and rooted out of communities without any differentiation.
Abdullah stated "our people have been the victim of terrorism, we do not consider a difference between terror groups," he said.
In answer to a question on the possible role of Iran in the peace talks process, Abdullah said that Tehran is willing to contribute to the Afghan peace process, but said for now only four countries were involved.
On the issue of the Taliban, Abdullah said that those who conduct acts of violence and kill Afghan civilians will not reach their political aims.
"If someone thinks violence can support their political points, they are wrong. We hope Taliban will not think like that," he said.
Abdullah states government hopes all groups realize that violence and killing of civilians will not help them reach their political objectives.
Abdullah also touched on the issue of tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and called on the two countries to ease tension.
Abdullah renewed government's commitments on the implementation of reforms in the country's electoral system and said the elections will be held under the supervision of new election commissioners.