EghtesadOnline: A top Afghan authority has called on Iranian officials to cooperate with the South Asian government and support its peace process to ensure sustainable stability in that war-torn country and the region.
Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday morning for a three-day visit, made the call in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later in the day, IRNA reported.
He also briefed Zarif on ongoing developments inside Afghanistan and the latest status of the intra-Afghan talks.
Peace talks brokered by the United States started between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, in early September, but reached an impasse due to disagreements over a framework for negotiations, while violence continued in Afghanistan.
The US overthrew the Taliban from power in 2001, but eventually signed a peace agreement with the insurgent group in February in Doha, based on which Washington agreed to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, and Taliban pledged to enter talks with the Afghan government.
Abdullah had earlier visited Pakistan and India in an attempt to win collective regional support for the peace efforts so that the Doha talks could lead to the permanent end of war in his country.
Zarif reiterated Iran’s support for a peace process led and managed by Afghans and an agreement reached during the intra-Afghan talks.
He also said Iran would back Taliban’s involvement in Afghanistan’s political structure.
Iran maintains that only intra-Afghan talks without foreign intervention could lead to sustainable peace in the war-torn country and has repeatedly expressed its readiness to facilitate such negotiations.
Abdullah, who is leading a top-level delegation comprising members of the reconciliation council, Afghan Parliament and Foreign Ministry, is to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and other senior officials during his stay.
On Monday, he is set to hold talks with Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani about the peace talks, ways of improving bilateral relations and the latest regional developments.