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Cool reception for Ghani in Tehran raises eyebrows

اشرف غنى در ايران استقبالTEHRAN: Political observers see the ambassador-level welcome for President Ashraf Ghani on his arrival in Tehran as a violation of diplomatic protocol, a disgusting and shameful act.

On Saturday, Ghani traveled to Tehran to take part in the oath-taking ceremony for his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. He was received at the airport by Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan Mohammad Reza Bahrami.

A report by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) showed said Bahrami, on behalf of the Iranian government, held a brief meeting with the president at the airport salon.

Meanwhile, heads of state from Iraq and Armenia, who also visited Tehran to attend the oath-taking ceremony, were accorded ministerial-level receptions on their arrival in the neighbouring country.

Political expert Malak Sateez told Pajhwok Afghan News under diplomatic norms and etiquette, a visiting president should be received at the airport by his/her counterpart.

In case, the host president is busy, his deputies receive the visiting dignitary. If the vice-president is also engaged, the speaker or the foreign minister should receive the guest, the analyst said.

Critical of Iran’s lukewarm welcome for Ghani, Sateez said sending an ambassador to the reception was a diplomatically flawed act that showed Afghanistan’s failure to conduct diplomacy in a proper manner. It is a weak point for the unity government.

Ihsanullah Arianzai, another political expert, said the president’s reception in Tehran amounted to a big insult. The way it received Ghani indicated Iran’s differences with Afghanistan on certain issues, he added.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman could not be reached for comments despite multiple efforts by Pajhwok. Earlier, the Iranian president had said his country had strong reservations about the construction of dams in Afghanistan.

The construction of dams had a negative environmental impact on southern and western Iran, Rouhani claimed, saying the Iranian people would not remain unconcerned or silent on the projects. -Pajhwok

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