Iran says NATO military presence foments Afghan violence
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tuesday in Kabul that the presence and increasing number of NATO troops was stirring up violence in Afghanistan, DPA reported.
Mottaki, who was speaking at an international conference on Afghanistan in the country's capital, said that "despite the increase in the number of foreign forces, the security situation has worsened (in Afghanistan) and there is no positive prospective for improvement in future."
"Therefore, it is quite obvious that the increase in the number of foreign forces and their operations not only failed to help solve the issues but they have further fomented violence," he said.
"It also shows that the presence and increase in the number of foreign troops is one of the factors for insecurity, violence and public disillusionment."
The conference was attended by nearly 40 foreign ministers, including US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Speaking at the same event, Clinton said, "We have no intention of abandoning our long-term mission of achieving a stable, secure, peaceful Afghanistan."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai set 2014 as a date for his country's forces to take on overall security responsibility, while NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance would remain to support Afghan forces even after the transition of security to Afghans.
Mottaki also insisted that more responsibility be transferred to Afghans, but added that "there should be a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces" from Afghanistan.