Iran insists on inter-Afghan dialogue to settle conflict

August 8, 2021 - 21:49

TEHRAN — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday met with Jean Arnault, Special Representative of the UN secretary general for Afghanistan, who led a delegation to Tehran to exchange views with Iranian Foreign Ministry officials about the intensifying war between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

In the meeting, Zarif referred to the serious situation in Afghanistan and the increasing complexity of disorder in the country.

He mentioned the wrong policies of foreign powers as one of the important factors in the current situation in Afghanistan.

Announcing Iran’s readiness to assist and facilitate talks between the Afghan parties in order to advance the peace process in Afghanistan, the foreign minister said that the conflict in Central Asian country can be resolved only through talks between Afghans themselves.

He added, “The global community must adopt a political solution to the crisis in Afghanistan and condemn the violence and its aftermath.”

For his part, the special envoy stressed the importance of the role of Iran and other countries in the region in contributing to the Afghan peace process. 

Arnault added that no country can solely solve the current disorder in Afghanistan.

“Only collective cooperation can reduce the severity of the situation in Afghanistan,” the special envoy insisted. 

Arnault also stressed the importance of inter-Afghan talks as the only way to overcome the rapidly spreading conflict in Afghanistan and considered his talks in Tehran useful and important.

Iran has tried hard to broker peace between warring parties in Afghanistan. 

In his press conference on August 1, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said that the situation in Afghanistan is serious. 

“For the Islamic Republic of Iran, security of the Afghan people has always been a top priority. We have declared to all parties and groups in Afghanistan that they must consider the protection of the Afghan people in all their actions and talks,” he noted. 

Iran has always been ready to do whatever is necessary to achieve peace in the country and maintain the security of the Afghan people, he insisted.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has facilitated the first round of talks between the Afghan parties in Tehran and is ready to facilitate the second round.” 

He reiterated Iran’s position that there is no military solution to the Afghanistan crisis. 

“As we have repeatedly stated, the key is to hold genuine inter-Afghan dialogue and form an inclusive government with all Afghan groups. The Taliban are part of the present and future of Afghanistan,” Khatibzadeh highlighted. 

He reiterated that everyone should be aware that genuine inter-Afghan dialogue can be a lasting solution for Afghanistan.

“Iran considers the security of Afghanistan as its security,” he said, adding that Iran is in contact with all parties in Afghanistan and will do whatever is necessary to build lasting peace in Afghanistan.

Iran is pushing hard for peace in neighboring Afghanistan. 

Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian, the special representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry for Afghanistan, met with Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar in Kabul on July 27, discussing the latest developments surrounding Afghanistan.

Taherian assured the Afghan foreign minister of Tehran’s support for the peace process in Afghanistan while maintaining the achievements the Afghans have made over the past two decades.

Iran’s special envoy also called for further cooperation between Kabul and Tehran in various areas, including border cooperation and coordination between different sectors. 

According to the Afghan Foreign Ministry, Atmar said he appreciates the reasonable stances of Iran in supporting peace efforts, ending violence, putting an end to arbitrary killings and torture of civilians, and human rights violations in the territories captured by the Taliban. 

Atmar also warned a domination of the Taliban and the escalation of violence by the group will lead to a spread of extremism and the presence of international terrorist groups, including ISIS, in Afghanistan and regional countries.

Fighting between the Taliban and Afghan government forces has increased over the past two months as foreign troops pull out of the country.

The Taliban is thought to have captured up to half of all the Afghan territory.

As U.S. forces have withdrawn, the Taliban have made rapid gains, retaking border crossings and rural areas.

The Taliban, who were pushed out of power by the U.S. invasion nearly 20 years ago, have also seized key roads as they seek to cut off supply routes. 

To establish peace and security in Afghanistan, Iran hosted a meeting between a Taliban delegation and a group of figures who support the republican system on July 7 and 8.

Foreign Minister Zarif, who led the talks, urged both sides to show courage in making peace. 

“Courage in peace is more important than courage in war because peace needs sacrifice and forgiveness, needs ignoring one's maximal demands, and paying attention to the other side's demands, especially in these talks where there is no other side, and both sides are brothers seeking peace and calm for the Afghan nation,” Zarif told the Afghan participants. 

The Iranian foreign minister added, “What I ask you is that use this opportunity and end the war in Afghanistan as soon as possible, and provide the Afghan people with the chance to develop.”

He also voiced Iran’s readiness to facilitate peace talks. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is always ready to facilitate your talks in any way you prefer,” he pointed out.


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