Foreign Ministry confirms Taliban visit to Iran

September 17, 2019

TEHRAN - Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi confirmed on Tuesday a Taliban delegation’s visit to Iran.

“Within the framework of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s comprehensive consultations with all sides in Afghanistan, a political delegation of Taliban visited our country and discussed latest developments with related officials,” he said.

The visit to Tehran was the second foreign trip of the Taliban delegation. The first visit occurred in December 2018.

According to Fars, the Afghan group earlier paid a visit to Moscow, Russia.

The delegation, comprised of members of the Taliban's political bureau based in Qatar, visited Tehran on Monday for talks with senior Iranian officials on the latest developments surrounding the Afghan peace process, including the breakdown of U.S.-Taliban negotiations.

Iran has been repeatedly saying that it attaches high value to Afghanistan as its eastern neighbor. Iran has also been insisting that peace talks in Afghanistan will not succeeded without the involvement of the central government.

According to Press TV, a senior Taliban leader in Qatar had earlier said, “The purpose of these visits is to inform leaders of these countries about the peace talks and [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump’s decision to call off the peace process at a time when both sides had resolved all outstanding issues and were about to sign a peace agreement.”

U.S. President Donald Trump canceled high-level talks with the group last week, citing a deadly bomb blast in Kabul that also left an American soldier dead.

After nine rounds of negotiations in Doha, which began in October 2018, American and Taliban officials agreed a draft accord that would have seen some 5,000 U.S. troops withdrawn from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban.

However, Trump cancelled the talks in a move that surprised the Taliban leaders.

The group said that an agreement had been “finalized” and that discussions had ended in “a good atmosphere,” but the deal had been sabotaged by Trump.

NA/PA

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