Taliban political delegation visits Iran for peace talks

January 26, 2021 - 21:15

TEHRAN - A Taliban political delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani arrived in Tehran on Tuesday morning at the invitation of Iranian officials, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This delegation arrived in Tehran this morning based on arrangements already made and upon the invitation of the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and was welcomed by Foreign Ministry officials,” ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement, adding that the visit was “pre-arranged.”

The Taliban delegation is expected to meet with Iranian officials including Iran’s envoy for Afghanistan.

“During their stay in Tehran, the Taliban’s political delegation will have meetings with Iranian officials, including the respected foreign minister and Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan, and discuss the peace trend in Afghanistan as well as relevant issues and topics,” Khatibzadeh said.

The visit came amid renewed efforts by Iran to increase contacts with all major Afghan players. On Monday, Mohammad-Ebrahim Taherian, the Iranian foreign minister's special envoy for Afghanistan, held a series of talks with several foreign officials including Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar.

Taherian and Atmar conferred on the latest developments in Afghanistan, relations between Tehran and Kabul, and the Afghan peace process, according to Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

The Iranian envoy also held talks with his German and Russian counterparts. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that Taherian held separate talks with his Russian and German counterparts on Monday.

“During the talks, Taherian underlined the necessity of reducing violence and the need for collaboration among the friends of Afghanistan in establishing sustainable peace through diplomatic solutions. He also described intra-Afghan negotiations as the most appropriate way to end the crisis in Afghanistan and relieve the Afghan people's pains, and expressed Tehran's preparedness for any assistance in this regard,” the ministry said in a statement.

Taherian also spoke with the UN secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons. During the talks, the two sides conferred on the latest status of intra-Afghan negotiations, the peace process in Afghanistan, and the establishment of sustainable peace through diplomatic solutions, according to Iran’s Foreign Ministry.