News ID: 272788
Published: 0631 GMT August 11, 2020

Iran ready to be a sponsor of part of Afghan Gov’t-Taliban talks: Senior diplomat

Iran ready to be a sponsor of part of Afghan Gov’t-Taliban talks: Senior diplomat

Iran’s Foreign Ministry special envoy for Afghanistan, Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian pointed to a statement released by Afghanistan’s consultative Loya Jirga meeting for peace and voiced Iran’s readiness to be a sponsor of a part of negotiations between Kabul government and the Taliban.

Taherian also stressed Tehran’s support for the Afghan-led peace process which is aimed at putting an end to years of conflicts in the Asian country, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported on Tuesday.

The Afghan Loya Jirga (grand assembly) approved the release of 400 Taliban prisoners on Sunday, and President Ashraf Ghani endorsed the decision.

Taherian welcomed decisions made at the meeting including approving the release of the 400 Taliban prisoners in an aim to quickly start the intra-Afghan talks and bring about a ceasefire and ending a 19 year of war.

“As a neighbor of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran supports efforts by Afghan government and Taliban to achieve lasting peace and in this regard. Iran urges all parties to provide grounds for achieving stability and coexistence by decreasing violence and organizing peace talks,” said the Iranian diplomat.

The prisoner exchange was a key part of a deal signed by the Taliban and the United States in February, which saw Washington agree to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in return for a pledge from the militants to hold peace talks with the Kabul government.

Tehran has laid emphasis on the need for all Afghan groupings to join negotiations – spearheaded by the government – toward resolving the country’s problems.

Violence runs rampant across Afghanistan despite the presence of thousands of foreign, mostly American, forces in the country.

The US first invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the banner of fighting “terrorism.” The invasion toppled the Taliban, but the group has never stopped its attacks, citing the foreign military presence as one of the main reasons behind its continued militancy. Tens of thousands of people have been killed during two decades of fightings.

Resource: ISNA
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