Iran supports ongoing Afghan peace talks

April 30, 2019

TEHRAN - Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Tuesday that Iran supports any efforts or talks that help establish peace, stability and security in Afghanistan.

“Iran supports any process and dialogue in line with Afghanistan’s independence, peace and stability,” Mousavi stated.

A four-day consultative grand assembly, known as a Loya Jirga, started meeting in Kabul on Monday. The rare consultative meeting is aimed at finding ways to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban and end the long-running war in Afghanistan.

It is an attempt by President Ashraf Ghani to influence peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban, which the Taliban have excluded his government from.

“It is a proud moment for me to have representatives from all over the country here and today we are gathered to speak about the peace talks,” Reuters quoted Ghani as saying in an opening ceremony in huge tent set up for such assemblies in central Kabul.

This week’s meeting, being attended by 3,200 tribal elders, and community and religious leaders from all 34 provinces, aims to set out Kabul’s conditions for any peace deal.

But opposition political leaders and government critics, including former president Hamid Karzai, are boycotting the assembly accusing Ghani of using it as a platform to boost his status as leader in an election year.

Ghani has invited the Taliban, but they have rejected the offer and urged others to boycott it.

The group has also alleged that this is an attempt by the government to deceive the country and extend its “illegitimate rule”.

“Do not participate in the enemy’s conspiracy under the name of Jirga; instead find ways to further sideline the shaky administration of Kabul,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, according to Press TV.

NA/PA

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