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Taliban govt 'deeply saddened' by death of Iranian president

By AFP

May 20, 2024 07:27 PM


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Afghanistan's Taliban government expressed regret on Monday over the deaths of Iran's president and other officials in a helicopter crash.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and all Afghans are deeply saddened and affected by this tragic event," said Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund in a statement.

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi was confirmed dead on Monday after search and rescue teams found his crashed helicopter in a mountainous region.

Killed alongside Raisi were Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and seven others, including the crew, bodyguards and political and religious officials.

"We share the grief of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the country's people and offer our condolences to all the families of the victims, the nation and the government of Iran," Akhund said.

Iran is one of a handful of nations that maintained a diplomatic presence in Kabul after the Taliban returned to power in 2021.

No country has yet recognized Kabul's new rulers, but the Afghan mission in Tehran has been handed over to Taliban authorities.

Trade has increased in recent years between the countries, which share a border of about 920 kilometers (570 miles), with officials exchanging high-level visits.

Tensions have flared, however, over water resources and migration.

Iran has hosted millions of Afghans, most of whom were fleeing decades of conflict in their country.

Taliban government foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with the top Iranian diplomat in Kabul on Monday.

Muttaqi called "the contribution of the late president and foreign affairs minister valuable in the development of regional cooperation, especially with Afghanistan", according to a ministry statement.


AFP


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