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News number: 8805241067

16:03 | 2009-08-15

Foriegn Policy

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Envoy Questions Obama's Strategy in Afghanistan

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Kabul Fadda Hossein Maleki on Saturday criticized the war strategy adopted by US President Barack Obama for defeating terrorism in Afghanistan, and urged for a political solution to the Afghan problem.



"Obama announced that US will root out terrorism in Afghanistan by sending more combat troops to the country. That was far from reality, for it has been shown in Afghanistan and the region that the military option is not final solution and there should be political solution," Maleki told FNA in Kabul.

"We (Iran) have announced in UN that the Islamic Republic of Iran considers political solution as the best option for ending current deadlock in Afghanistan. The issue has been accepted (by UN members)," the Iranian envoy noted.

Obama sent 17,000 additional combat troops to Afghanistan in the spring and summer to help blunt a resurgent Taliban ahead of the voting, and his administration is spending millions to help an underperforming Afghan government run a relatively safe and open election.

About 400 Marines opened a large offensive in southern Afghanistan just this week to uproot Taliban fighters, disrupt intimidation campaigns ahead of the voting and help provide protected passage to the polls.

Maleki called on all insurgent groups to accept Afghanistan's Constitution and laws and set aside their arms while negotiating with the government in a bid to reach a national reconciliation.

Elsewhere, the Iranian ambassador reminded the significance of timely elections in Afghanistan, saying, "A number of countries are trying to postpone the elections through portraying the country insecure. That (postponement) will not sever the interest of the Afghans."

Maleki further warned Afghans about Post-Election events, saying, "We are concerned about the event after the elections. We saw signals may lead to problems. In this regard, we have started serious consultations with UN officials and a number of European ambassadors in Afghanistan as well as Afghan authorities."

Afghanistan's presidential and provincial elections will be held on Aug 20, the second direct vote for president since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

There are 41 presidential candidates in the race, including the incumbent President Hamid Karzai.