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Iran ready to help Afghan military: minister


18:36, December 14, 2011

TEHRAN, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said his country is ready to offer assistance to Afghanistan in its efforts to establish a more sophisticated military force, the local satellite Press TV reported on Wednesday.

Vahidi made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Afghan Deputy Defense Minister Mohammad Homayoun Fawzi in Tehran on Tuesday. It was the first meeting of Iran-Afghanistan joint defense cooperation commission.

Vahidi said the commission should assume an effective role in expanding mutual defense ties and reinforce the capabilities of Afghan defense forces, according to the report.

The West does not want Afghanistan to become a developed country, but the Afghan nation will not allow the U.S. forces to undermine their national sovereignty, Vahidi was quoted as saying.

Fawzi, for his part, pointed to the numerous common interests of the two nations and voiced Kabul's willingness to bolster mutual ties.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Tuesday that the Islamic republic is against any treaty that would enable the U.S. forces to remain in Afghanistan.

Referring to the existence of foreign military as the cause of instability in the region, Salehi said Iran believes in the competence of Afghan forces in providing security for their own country.

Vahidi said in June that the U.S. military bases in Afghanistan were against its national integrity and the progress of the regional states.

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