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Iran, Afghanistan Pledge Better Cultural Ties

Mahmud Farshidi (file photo) (Fars) March 1, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Iran and Afghanistan have vowed to expand their cultural ties.

Iranian Education Minister Mahmud Farshidi and his Afghan counterpart Azam Dadfar made the announcement today at a joint news conference in Kabul.

Farshidi, who is in Afghanistan for an official visit, said Iran would increase the number of scholarships for Afghans wiling to complete their higher education studies in Iran.

"We made a commitment about scholarships, currently about 600 students are using the scholarships in Iran. It will continue. I now commit myself and promise 50 more [scholarships]," Farshidi said.

Dadfar said Iran has donated $800,000 to Kabul University's dentistry faculty.

Iran and Afghanistan have been expanding their ties since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.