Certain groups, countries unhappy over growing Tehran-Kabul ties, Zarif says

March 29, 2021 - 19:33

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that certain countries and groups are not happy about the growing ties between Iran and Afghanistan.

Zarif made the remarks during a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Haneef Atmar on the sidelines of the “Heart of Asia” conference on Afghanistan hosted by Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

For his part, Foreign Minister Atmar thanked Iran on behalf of the Afghan government and nation for helping extinguish gas tanker explosions at Afghanistan’s customs posts in Afghanistan on the Iranian border.

The senior diplomat also called Iran one of the “closest friends” of Afghanistan.

Atmar also called for developing cooperation and consultation between Kabul and Tehran on areas of politics and economy.  

The Afghan foreign minister also said his country is fully ready to establish a joint commission with Iran in future weeks.

Zarif and Atmar also reviewed the latest political and security developments in Afghanistan and exchanged views about the Afghan peace talks.

Iran has been seeking to help reconcile warring sides in neighboring Afghanistan.

In late January, Iran hosted the political leader of Afghanistan’s Taliban, offering Tehran’s own help as a mediator in peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government.

Iran has been openly meeting with Taliban leaders for the past few years as the United States has started negotiating the exit of its troops from Afghanistan.

Zarif met Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Tehran, and told him that Washington was not a “good mediator” for the conflict.

Iran supports an inclusive Afghan government that would include all ethnic groups and sects, Zarif was quoted as saying.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said on Twitter that the meetings had taken place “in a good atmosphere”.

“The situations in Afghanistan, Intra-Afghan negotiations, the full implementation of the Doha agreement and Afghanistan’s & region’s need (for) peace were discussed,” he added, according to Reuters.


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