Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs, Hossein Zolfaghari, held talks with Afghanistan’s Minister of Refugees and Repatriations Hussain Alami Balkhi on the sidelines of the 69th session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme.
During the meeting, Zolfaghari stressed that the Iranian government would spare no effort in facilitating the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland.
He said the number of Afghan students in Iran rose from some 102,000 in 2017 to 120,000 in 2018.
He added that if it were not for Iran’s efforts, the Iraqi government would have not agreed to cooperate with Afghan refugees during the Arba’een Pilgrimage.
Zolfaghari called for practical measures from the Afghan side with respect to visas, and voiced dissatisfaction at the lack of regular checkups from the Afghan ambassador to Tehran, saying this shows a lack of serious resolve on Afghanistan’s part.
The Afghan side implied that his country would begin practical cooperation with Iran before winter.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has lived up to all of its commitments with respect to issuing visas aimed at authorizing the entry and exit of Afghan nationals, yet, the Afghan side has not taken any practical measures in this regard, the Iranian official complained.
The Afghan minister, for his part, thanked Iran for its services during the forty long years of hosting Afghan refugees, voicing his country’s readiness to send workforce for assistance and paying for their accommodation.