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Rohani: U.S., Soviet Union Brought Violence To Afghanistan

Iranian President Hassan Rohani speaks during a ceremony to mark celebrations of Norouz in Kabul on March 27.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has said during a visit to Kabul foreign countries that have twice occupied Afghanistan "have brought violence and extremists" to the country.

Rohani was in Kabul at the invitation of President Hamid Karzai, who is hosting this year's celebrations of the Persian New Year, Norouz.

Without specifically naming the Soviet Union and United States, Rohani said the occupiers had "brought the unfortunate seeds of violence" in Afghanistan, which has "damaged the lives of people."

Rohani called for regional unity, a call repeated by Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, who was also in Kabul.

It was Rohani's first visit to Afghanistan as president of Iran.

His Pakistani counterpart, Mamnoon Hussain, also attended the festivities.

The four presidents signed a declaration pledging to work for regional stability.
Based on reporting by AP and RFE/RL