TEHRAN – Chairman of Afghan peace council Abdullah Abdullah, who is in Tehran to hold talks with top Iranian officials, held talks on Sunday with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.
In the 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.
The top Iranian diplomat finally expressed Iran’s support for the Taliban’s participation in Afghanistan’s political structure.
For his part, Abdullah expounded on the most recent developments in Afghanistan and the latest status of the intra-Afghan talks.
Abdullah has already visited Pakistan and India in efforts to win support for talks between the warring sides in Afghanistan.
The peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban began on September 12 in Qatar’s capital Doha to end decades of war.
Iran has strongly supported talks between the government and the Taliban without foreign interference. Zarif has also appointed an envoy for the purpose.
The senior Afghan peace official is accompanied by a delegation comprising of government and Foreign Ministry officials and lawmakers.
In a post on his Twitter page, Abdullah described his talks with the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) speaker as “constructive”.
Abdullah said he and Ghalibaf discussed the Afghan peace talks. The top peace negotiator said Ghalibaf had assured him of the Iranian Parliament’s support for durable peace in Afghanistan.
“Had a constructive meeting with HE Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf @mb_ghalibaf, Speaker of the Parliament of I.R. of Iran. We discussed the #AfghanPeaceProcess, & developments in Doha talks. HE Ghalibaf assured us of Majlis’s support for a lasting peace in Afghanistan,” Abdullah tweeted.
Ghalibaf expresses support for Afghanistan’s independence, security of Afghanistan
According to a report released by the media office of the Majlis, Ghalibaf said Iran is unwavering in its support for the independence, security of Afghanistan.
Ghalibaf also said Iran hopes that the political dialogue that has been launched under the leadership of the new Afghan government will lead to “lasting peace between all groups”.
The Iranian parliament speaker also said Afghanistan’s constitution is the product of decades of serious efforts by the Afghan nation.
For his part, Abdullah thanked Iran for supporting the peace process in Afghanistan.
Pointing to the government’s talks with the Taliban, Abdullah said even though different persons and groups have diverse opinions about talks “but all are moving in line with protecting the establishment and reaching a peace.”
The veteran politician said coordination with friendly and neighboring states can help facilitate the move toward stability in Afghanistan, adding, “42 years of war have been a great burden on the shoulders of Afghanistan and you (neighbors) have also suffered from it.”
Security problems, refugee influx, and drug trade have created problems for neighbors and great opportunities for economic progress have been lost in Afghanistan, stated Abdullah, a physician-turned politician.
Abdullah also said the comprehensive document for cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan is being prepared.
“We are witnessing good progress for interaction between Iran and Afghanistan,” he said, adding common historical and civilizational background have created a situation for sustainable relationship.