Iranian diplomat undertakes shuttle diplomacy on Afghanistan

June 26, 2021 - 20:52

TEHRAN – The Iranian foreign minister's special envoy for Afghanistan who had left Kabul for Islamabad on Thursday for talks with Pakistani officials on the latest security developments in Afghanistan, returned to the Afghan capital on Friday to resume his meetings with the country's political and defense officials.

In his meetings with Afghan officials, Mohammad-Ebrahim Taherian presented a report on his talks with Pakistani officials, and conferred with Afghan authorities and figures on the achievement of peaceful solutions to the ongoing crisis and prevent the outbreak of a civil war in the country, according to a statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

Taherian had traveled to Kabul on Wednesday at the head of a delegation with the escalation of unrest in the country.

The Iranian diplomat had met with Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, before heading to Pakistan. During these meetings, the current developments in Afghanistan were discussed and the two sides stressed the need to continue consultations in this regard. It is worth mentioning that Taherian paid a visit to Islamabad on Wednesday at the invitation of Mohammad Sadegh Khan, the special envoy of the Prime Minister of Pakistan for Afghanistan.

Iran has doubled down on its diplomatic efforts to achieve peace in neighboring Afghanistan as the conflict there has intensified between the Afghan government and the Taliban, which went on the offensive as the U.S.-led foreign troops began leaving the war-torn country after nearly two decades of war.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran was closely following developments in Afghanistan.

“Closely following alarming developments in Afghanistan. Iran calls for immediate de-escalation, respect for rule of law, & inclusive dialogue. Destructive policies of the U.S. have had lingering consequences in our region & now its utterly irresponsible conduct is taking a toll,” Khatibzadeh said on Twitter.

Nearly a week ago, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held a trilateral meeting with his Turkish and Afghan counterparts during his stay in the Turkish resort city of Antalya.

The foreign ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan called for active participation of the three countries in the Afghan peace process and fight against terrorism in the region.

Zarif and his Turkish and Afghan counterparts, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Mohammad Haneef Atmar, issued the call during their trilateral meeting in  Antalya.

During the meeting, agreements were made on transit ties with Afghanistan through Iran and on economic cooperation with Kabul.

The Iranian, Turkish and Afghan foreign ministers issued a joint final statement at the end of their meeting.

In Antalya, Zarif held several meetings with current and former Afghan officials in a bid to understand the situation in Afghanistan. In his meeting with Atmar, Zarif reiterated Tehran’s preparedness to effectively contribute to the enhancement of solidarity in Afghanistan.

The top Iranian diplomat underlined the necessity of cooperation among all Afghan political groups to return security and stability to the country.

Zarif also said Iran is ready to hold a meeting of the Iran-Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission.

Atmar, in turn, conveyed to Zarif a message of gratitude from the Afghan government for the medical aid and consignments of oxygen capsules sent by Iran.

The top Afghan diplomat called on Iran to keep sending in aid given the grave COVID-19 situation in Afghanistan.

He also elaborated on the latest security developments in Afghanistan and expressed his readiness for coordination with the Iranian side on the security situation in border areas and the holding of a joint border commission meeting as soon as possible.

In his meeting with Abdullah, Zarif expressed concern over the security situation of Afghanistan, and underlined the necessity of holding intra-Afghan talks.

Abdullah, in turn, praised Iran's constructive efforts, and elaborated on the current situation in Afghanistan.

Zarif also held talks with Salahuddin Rabbani, the former foreign minister of Afghanistan and one of the leaders of Jamiat-e Islami Party, on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. In the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister highlighted the necessity for cooperation among all Afghan movements in countering the country's unfavorable security situation.

Zarif also underlined Iran's continued support for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Rabbani, in turn, elaborated on the latest status of Afghanistan, and highlighted Iran's position in contributing to peace and security in the country.

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