1119 GMT June 23, 2021
The Iranian foreign minister has stressed the importance of expanding regional cooperation to establish peace in Afghanistan.
Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in a meeting on Sunday with Pakistani PM’s special representative for Afghanistan, Mohammad Sadiq, in Tehran, IRNA reported.
Attaching critical importance to securing peace in Afghanistan, the Iranian FM laid emphasis on preserving the Afghan people’s achievements.
Sadiq arrived in Tehran at the head of a political and security delegation on Saturday for talks with top Iranian officials on Afghanistan’s developments.
Commenting on the outcomes of his visit, he expressed satisfaction with the meetings during which he said he had outlined Islamabad’s standpoints concerning Afghanistan’s developments.
Sadiq’s meeting with Zarif was his last round of talks in Tehran after arriving in the Iranian capital.
On Sunday, the Pakistani official also met with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi.
Sadiq underlined the impact that developments in Afghanistan have on Iran and Pakistan, urging expansion of bilateral cooperation toward the establishment of sustainable peace in the violence-wracked country, according to Press TV.
Araqchi welcomed the Pakistani envoy’s demand for better cooperation, saying Iran supports the establishment of peace in Afghanistan aiming to protect the fundamental rights of the Afghan people and preserving their achievements during the past two decades.
The officials, meanwhile, expressed concern over the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan and agreed to hold consultations on matters related to the security of the entire region.
The terror group has been seeking to establish a foothold in Afghanistan, especially in its eastern province of Nangarhar, amid the chaos that has plagued the Central Asian nation since the US invasion in 2001.
The invasion toppled the Taliban ruling militia, but the militants regrouped soon and currently have a presence in much of the country.
The Taliban cite continued US-led military presence across the country as one of the reasons for its ongoing insurgency.
‘No invitation yet’
In a weekly media briefing on Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Tehran has not yet received any invitation for a UN-facilitated conference on securing peace in Afghanistan, proposed by the US, but will consider participation in such a meeting if invited, according to Tasnim News Agency.
He added Iran will consider whether to take part in a conference at the UN on Afghanistan after getting an invitation.
The spokesman emphasized that Iran’s view on Afghanistan is based on friendship, adding, “Afghanistan is important to us”, and is not Iran’s bargaining chip in negotiations with any country.
His comments came after reports of a US-proposed plan for peace in Afghanistan, involving Iran.
TOLOnews cited a letter from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, in which the American diplomat has proposed a series of steps to help jumpstart Afghanistan’s stalled peace process between the government and the Taliban.
The letter calls for bringing the two sides together for a UN-facilitated conference attended by foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the US “to discuss a unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan”.