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'West to be blamed for all problems'

world Updated: Feb 18, 2012 00:57 IST

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday slammed the West for foisting problems on the region through interventionist policies, and made a strong pitch for issues to be "solved regionally" at a trilateral summit with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

During a joint news conference with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts, Hamid Karzai, and Asif Ali Zardari, Ahmadinejad said the problems in the region had been thrust from outside.

"All problems are coming from outside. In order to promote their goals and ambitions... they don't want to allow our nations to develop," Ahmadinejad said in a clear pointer to the West, without naming any country.

He contended that problems were being foisted on the countries of the region by external powers but did not identify these powers.

"We should stand together to advance and realise our goals... We believe that problems of the region must be solved regionally," said Ahmadinejad, who is locked in a confrontation with the West over its nuclear programme.

Against the backdrop of Western sanctions imposed on Tehran for its nuclear programme and Kabul's concerns about US efforts to engage the Afghan Taliban, the Presidents of the three countries called for "non-interference and non-intervention" in their internal affairs.

The leaders also pledged to step up cooperation for eradicating terrorism and militancy and said they would not allow "any threat emanating from their respective territories against each other".

The statement said the three countries "reiterated their full support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive process of peace and reconciliation" in Afghanistan.