Afghan minister: Abdullah's Tehran visit to be very positive, constructive

Kabul, Jan 3, IRNA – Afghan Minister for Refugees and Repatriation Hossein Alami Balkhi said on Sunday that an upcoming visit to Iran by Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah will be very positive and constructive.

Speaking exclusively with IRNA correspondent in Kabul, Balkhi said that no country in the region is closer to Afghanistan than Iran.

Iran and Afghanistan have broad relations, he said, adding that more than 2.5 million Afghan refugees are currently living in Iran.

During its visit to Iran, the Afghan delegation will also pay a visit to Chabahar Port in southeastern Iran to review the conditions for transit of Afghan commodities via this port, Balkhi said.

Nearly one million unauthorized Afghan refugees are living in Iran and Afghan government expects the Islamic Republic of Iran to register these refugees, the Afghan minister said, adding that this will remove Tehran's security concerns over the presence of unauthorized refugees.

He also called on Tehran government to pave the way for voluntary return of Afghan refugees and to provide them with facilities to freely commute between Iran and Afghanistan.