Taliban officials consult with Iranian officials in Tehran

January 10, 2022 - 21:36

TEHRAN — Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Sunday afternoon held talks with Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Molawi Amir Khan Motaqqi in Tehran.

In the meeting, Amir Abdollahian emphasized that history has proven that the bond between the people of Iran and Afghanistan is of kinship type. 

He also said that the endeavors by the zealous people of Afghanistan showed that no foreign power can occupy and rule their country. 

The Iranian foreign minister referred to the positive remarks of the Taliban leaders regarding formation of an inclusive government, stressing the need to provide acceptable indicators in this regard.

Amir Abdollahian also spoke of the humanitarian aid sent by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the suffering people of Afghanistan. He said Tehran will continue giving aid to Afghanistan and will also use regional capacities for more humanitarian assistance to alleviate the problems of the Afghan people.

The Iranian foreign minister also condemned the wrong policies of the United States and its allies in Afghanistan over the past 20 years and said sowing discord between Afghanistan and neighboring countries has been a pillar of U.S. policy in the region.

Amir Abdollahian stressed that Afghanistan’s assets frozen by the U.S. should be released and given to the country for humanitarian purposes and help improve the economic situation of the Afghan people.

The Iranian foreign minister also commemorated the memory of the Iranian diplomats martyred in Mazar-e-Sharif in August 1998 and reiterated the responsibility of Afghanistan’s governing body to protect the diplomatic missions.

Iran FM says sowing discord between Afghanistan and neighbors has been a U.S. policy 

At the meeting, the Afghan delegation presented a report on the new governing body’s efforts to counter Daesh and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan as well as policies related to fighting drug production and trafficking in the country.

Amir Khan Motaqqi, the acting foreign minister of Afghanistan, thanked the hospitality of the Islamic Republic toward Afghan refugees over the past 43 years. 

Motaqqi referred to the affinities of the two nations, stressing that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always stood by Afghanistan and the new Afghan government also emphasizes that it is not hostile to any neighboring country.

The Afghan delegation also enumerated the U.S. atrocities against the people of Afghanistan. It said although the U.S. left Afghanistan following a humiliating defeat, it continues its policies against the Afghan people, and as a result 80% of Afghans are below the poverty line.

At the meeting, the two sides also discussed Iran’s share of water from the Helmand River. The Afghan delegation underlined its respect for international treaties, including the 1972 Helmand Agreement, saying the technical delegations (water commissioners) of the two countries will meet soon and will resolve related issues.

Iranian Foreign Ministry assesses talks with Taliban as good

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a regular news briefing on Monday that the current situation facing the Afghan people is a great concern for Iran. 

“Due to United States mismanagement and aggression in this geography, we now see that according to Afghan officials, 80% of the people of this country are below the poverty line. The people of this country now have problems with fuel, raw materials and medicine. The visit of the Afghan delegation to Iran was also part of this great concern and how we can try to improve the situation of the Afghan people and get the Afghan people out of this situation,” the spokesman stated.

The diplomat assessed the talks as good and said efforts were made to focus on border markets, energy trade, monetary and financial exchanges, establishing joint border free trade zones and meeting the needs of the Afghan people. 

“We want to reach agreements and bring them closer to the point of implementation, and during this visit, these issues were addressed in the form of three different working groups,” Khatibzadeh explained. 

He also said the visit by the Taliban delegation was successful. 

During the visit, the Afghan parties were told that the necessities of an inclusive government must be such that it will be consistent with the future of peace in Afghanistan, the spokesman noted.

“Issues have been raised and we should take the time for the Afghan governing body to take a step in this direction," he said, adding that these issues were raised during the Iranian representative's recent visit to Afghanistan. 

“This is a roadmap and all actions are carried out within this framework,” Khatibzadeh asserted. 

We are not at the point of recognizing Taliban

Responding to a question about recognizing the Taliban government, the spokesman reiterated that Iran is not currently in that stage. 

“We are basically not at that point today. Characteristics and components that could lead to the recognition of a new government in Afghanistan were discussed at the meeting. It has been said before. Recognition is something that the governing body of Afghanistan should achieve through responsible behavior and the components that should emerge, and recognition is not something that should be given to them,” he stressed.

Khatibzadeh added that the view of Iran toward the situation of the Afghan people is an inclusive one regardless of their “region and ethnicity”. 

“Our view is that all ethnic groups within Afghanistan should have their voices and demands heard. Regarding what we have said, Iran has hosted various Afghan groups in different situations, and in this visit, Iran has also hosted talks. There have been good talks between Afghan groups and we hope that the result will lead to a bright future for the Afghan people,” he remarked. 

Taliban officials meet Iranian special envoy

During his visit to Tehran, Motaqqi met with Hassan Kazemi Qomi, the special envoy of the Iranian president for Afghanistan.

According to the Taliban Foreign Ministry, the meeting focused on bilateral economic and political relations between Afghanistan and Iran, increased flights, ground transit and other facilities, and the provision of facilities for Afghan refugees.

Upon his return to Kabul, Motaqqi said that his trip to Tehran was positive, saying, “We had positive meetings with the Iranian side in the fields of trade, oil, transit, politics and security.”

Speaking to the Afghanistan state TV, the acting foreign minister said, “Our goal is to establish good relations with the region, especially with neighboring countries.”

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