Zarif to attend 2020 Afghanistan Conference

November 23, 2020 - 18:36

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend the virtual 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday.

The Geneva conferences for Afghanistan are held once in every four years with a focus on the commitment of world countries to establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan and its development, Khatibzadeh said, the Foreign Ministry website reported.

66 countries and 32 international organizations are expected to attend this year's conference, which will be held virtually because of the COVID-19 restrictions.

The conference is scheduled to take place on November 23 and 24.

The conference plenary will take place on November 24, with side events on November 23. The conference is expected to involve civil society representatives as well. It was last held in 2016 in Brussels and in Tokyo in 2012.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the quadrennial pledging conference is an important opportunity for Afghanistan and the international community to commit to common objectives for promoting sustainable development, prosperity and peace in the country.

A central aim of the conference is to determine shared development objectives and commitments for the period 2021–24 for the Afghan government and the international community.

The shared development objectives will guide development cooperation and provide financial support for Afghanistan. In addition to the pledges of financial support, a new development framework, a joint political declaration and a new aid architecture supporting Afghanistan’s development needs and priorities are the anticipated outcomes of the conference.

Iran has strongly supported talks between the government and the Taliban without foreign interference. Zarif has also appointed an envoy for the purpose.

Chairman of Afghan peace council Abdullah Abdullah made a three-day visit to Iran last month to hold talks with top Iranian officials.

In his meeting with Zarif at the Foreign Ministry, Iran’s chief diplomat reaffirmed Tehran’s support for the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the peace process under the leadership and management of Afghans, and the agreements among the participants in the intra-Afghan talks.

Zarif also admired Abdullah for his participation in the political process and assuming responsibility to run Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation.