Feb 17 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells a news conference in Pakistan that foreign powers are interfering in the region. Sunita Rappai reports.
Foreign powers are interfering in the affairs of countries like Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That's according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who told a news conference in Pakistan that problems were coming from outside. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, SAYING: "All countries of the region know very well that the roots of the problems do not lie in the region itself, these problems have been imposed on our region." The Iranian president said the unnamed powers should not be allowed to dominate the region. Ahmadinejad is in the Pakistani capital Islamabad to attend a meeting with Pakistani leader Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on promoting regional stability. Zardari denied charges that Pakistani agents had cooperated with the Taliban in attacking Afghanistan. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PAKISTAN'S PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI, SAYING: "Let me first of all deny this notion that any of our armed forces are directly or indirectly involved. Yes, I cannot deny that there is a residue, there is a residue in Pakistan of the war that was fought against the Soviet Union, in the Soviet Cold War era. That residue remains." Karzai meanwhile said the meeting was addressing both the opportunities and the dangers the region faces. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI, SAYING: " What we need now is to formulate a policy that's actionable and implementable and actually act upon it." The United States and NATO are training a 350,000 strong force to take over security in Afghanistan before a planned NATO pullout by 2014. Sunita Rappai, Reuters