Afghan President fears violence in region after Soleimani’s killing

Afghan President fears violence in region after Soleimani's killing
Washington is Afghanistan's strategic ally, with the US having a military presence in the country for nearly two decades [Tom Brenner/Reuters]
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Daily US Times, Kabul: Afghanistan has expressed a potential increase of violence in the Middle East following the killing if Qasem Soleimani.

In a statement on Friday, the Afghan government urged its neighbour Iran and the United States, its strategic partner, to prevent conflict escalations.

President Ashraf Ghani talked with US Secretary of Ste Mike Pompeo on Friday and tweeted “Today, during talks with the US Secretary of State, I once again emphasized that Afghan soil must not be used against a third country or in regional conflicts”.

The statement came hours after the US killed General Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi), an Iran-backed umbrella organization comprising several militias, along with several other people in a drone strike in the outskirt of Baghdad Internation Airport.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai also called for calm between the countries.

Karzai wrote in twitter: “Iran and Afghanistan, despite US military presence in Afghanistan, have maintained cordial and brotherly relations. In the face of the current challenges, we hope Iran will continue its wise and friendly approach towards Afghanistan.”