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Ghani in Tehran to attend Rouhani’s oath ceremony, hold bilateral talks

Kabul : Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Tehran to attend swearing in ceremony of his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani and discuss bilateral ties.

According to the Presidential palace statement Ghani will discuss bilateral issues with the Rouhani during his visit to Iran, Tolo News reported.

This comes after the Iranian president criticized Afghanistan’s dam project at a conference on sandstorms in Tehran on Monday.

Rouhani said: “We cannot remain silent about the thing which is apparently damaging our environment such as the establishment of several dams in Afghanistan like Kajaki, Kamal Khan and Salma in the north and south of Afghanistan.”

He said the dam projects in Afghanistan “threatens a number of bordering provinces in Iran”.

Civil society activists from Afghanistan and residents of different provinces have reacted after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that dam projects in Afghanistan are damaging the environment.

“The remarks by the Iranian president show that Iran is not paying respect to the Helmand River agreement signed between Afghanistan and Iran in 1970. Their demands are a lot,” said Rahmatullah Zaland, member of Paktia associations.

Neighbouring Iran receive much water from Afghanistan’s two water zones – Helmand and Harirrod Zones.

Following comments by Rouhani on Afghanistan’s dam projects, the Afghan Ministry of Water and Energy said, building dams on Helmand River is Kabul’s top priority which is aimed at managing the country’s water resources and improving the national economy.

On an average basis, the scale of water resources in Afghanistan is estimated up to 70 billion cubic meters annually. But 80 percent of these waters are flowing to Iran, Pakistan and other neighbouring nations in the Central Asian countries.

Some 70 delegations from foreign countries and international organisations have so far arrived in Tehran to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Hassan Rouhani as President of Iran .

The inauguration ceremony will be held in the parliament where Rouhani is expected to propose his 18-member cabinet on the same day for a vote of confidence.(ANI)