Taliban delegation visits Iran for Afghanistan peace talks

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A high-level Taliban delegation has arrived in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials on the peace process in Afghanistan.

According to a report by Anadolu Agency, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the delegation’s visit of the delegation, led by deputy leader Mullah Ghani Baradar, comes upon an invitation from Tehran.

The delegation will meet senior Iranian officials during the visit, including Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan Ebrahim Taherianfard.

The ongoing intra-Afghan peace process and US troop withdrawal from the war-torn country are expected to figure high during the discussions.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said the two sides will discuss “relations between Tehran and Kabul, issues related to Afghan refugees in Iran, and prevailing political and security situation of Afghanistan and the region”.

The visit comes in the middle of the second round of intra-Afghan talks in Doha and days after the new US administration said it will review a deal reached between the militant group and the outgoing Donald Trump administration on the drawdown of US troops from the war-ravaged country. 

Iran’s contacts with the Taliban have increased in recent years, with top insurgent leaders visiting Tehran and holding deliberations with senior Iranian officials. 

This is Mullah Baradar’s second official visit to Tehran in recent years. He had previously traveled in November 2019 when he held talks with Zarif. 

Iran has lately backed Taliban’s inclusion in Afghanistan’s future political structure, and repeatedly called for the withdrawal of US forces from the country.

 

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