Tehran welcomes inter-Afghan talks, warns of foreign intervention

September 12, 2020 - 18:24

TEHRAN — Tehran has welcomed the start of inter-Afghan negotiations attended by Afghanistan’s government, political groups and Taliban in Doha, Qatar.

In a statement on Saturday, the Foreign Ministry expressed the hope that all sides would be able to reach a lasting agreement by preserving the valuable achievements of the Afghan people.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes start of inter-Afghan talks between the Afghan government, political groups and the Taliban, and hopes that these talks will lead to the desired results for the establishment of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and security in the region without foreign intervention and in a comprehensive understanding between Afghans,” the statement read, Mehr reported.

It also reiterated Iran’s position that there is no military solution to Afghanistan’s problems, emphasizing that the continued presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan is one of the main reasons behind the continuation of the war in the country.

“All issues and problems in Afghanistan can be resolved only through dialogue and negotiation and responsible withdrawal of foreign troops is an unavoidable prerequisite for achieving peace and security in that country,” the ministry stated.

It further expressed the hope that all sides would be able to reach an agreement that would enable Afghan refugees to return to their country and play a constructive role in reconstruction, growth and development of Afghanistan.

The Foreign Ministry added that Iran strongly denounces any political opportunism and business profiteering, especially the U.S. government's use of electoral exploitation of inter-Afghan talks.

Following nearly two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands, talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban opened in Qatar's capital on Saturday.

Key speakers at the opening ceremony at a hotel in Doha included Abdullah Abdullah, chairperson of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

According to Al Jazeera, the negotiations, where the two warring sides will sit face-to-face for the first time, will start on Monday.

For his part, Abdullah spoke about seeking a dignified and lasting peace.

“I believe that if we give hands to each other and honestly work for peace, the current ongoing misery in the country will end,” Abdullah said, calling for a “humanitarian ceasefire”.

MH/PA

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