"It's better to respect nations than to scare them and colonize them. The time of imperialism has long gone. Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history will be punished."
Speaking at a regional conference on Afghanistan, Ahmadinejad also called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from the country and proposed that NATO use part of its military budget to help revive the Afghan economy.
The U.S. delegation to the conference, headed by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake, left the hall when Ahmadinejad began to speak and returned after the conclusion of his speech.