Tehran meeting was ‘positive:’ Taliban spokesman

October 30, 2021 - 21:3

TEHRAN - A Taliban spokesman has praised the meeting of foreign ministers of the countries neighboring Afghanistan in Tehran and called on the international community to take steps to recognize the group as Afghanistan’s next government.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's spokesman, told Fars News Agency that the Tehran meeting was positive. The meeting was held Wednesday in the presence of foreign ministers of the countries neighbor to Afghanistan.

 “It was a meeting between Tehran and Afghanistan's neighbors that had positive results,” he said. 

He added: “The Taliban expect from this and other similar meetings to cooperate with the Afghans and to take steps to recognize the Taliban so that we can interact with the world, our neighbors and the region as a responsible party.”

Mujahid continued, “The Taliban's position on such meetings is that the international community and different countries should interact with the Taliban in various fields.”

Taliban deputy spokesman Ahmadullah Wasiq also praised the Tehran meeting and called it in Afghanistan's favor.

Responding to a request from foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbors for a comprehensive government, he said there was a possibility of a change in the Taliban’s cabinet.

“We support this meeting, as it was expected, and it was positive and in Afghanistan's favor,” Wasiq added.

Foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbors and Russia concluded the second meeting on Afghanistan on Wednesday, underlining the need for an inclusive government in the war-torn country that would protect the rights of all ethnoreligious groups.

The neighboring countries of Afghanistan have succeeded in building a consensus on how to deal with the unrecognized authorities of the country. After months-long diplomatic back-and-forth in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August, these countries issued a statement that more or less met the demands of all the concerned parties. 

The foreign ministers of Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, along with Russia, approved a ministerial joint statement that addressed a range of issues of much interest to all the participants of the Tehran gathering, formally known as the “Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan’s Neighboring Countries + Russia.”

The meeting was held in continuation of another meeting held in Pakistan in early September. During the Pakistan meeting, the participants agreed to hold the next meeting in Tehran.

The joint statement of the Tehran meeting noted that “an inclusive and broad-based political structure with the participation of all ethno-political groups is the only solution to the Afghanistan issues.”

It also called on “the international community to provide humanitarian assistance on urgent basis.” 

Furthermore, the statement called on the “international community to remain positively engaged with Afghanistan and develop long term roadmap to advance the agenda of political engagement, economic integration and regional connectivity.”

To make sure that the meeting serves the interests of all the participants, the statement took note of “the assurances and commitments of relevant responsible Afghan parties to the international community that the territory of Afghanistan will not pose any threats to the neighboring countries and will not be used by criminal, terrorist and separatist groups, and cut ties with all kinds of terrorist groups, strike and eliminate them in a decisive manner.”

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