Middle East

Iran calls for intra-Afghan talks to end war

Countries in region should facilitate talks, but should not try to dictate, Iranian foreign minister tells Anadolu Agency

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 09.12.2019
Iran calls for intra-Afghan talks to end war

ISTANBUL 

Iran’s foreign minister on Monday called on people of Afghanistan -- including Taliban -- to come together and decide about future of their country.

“The end game in Afghanistan is for all Afghans themselves, including the Taliban and Afghan government. All Afghan forces [should] come together, without external interference, and decide about the future of their country,” Javad Zarif told Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process conference.

Zarif said that the countries in the region should facilitate the Afghan peace process. “We should not try to dictate, and certainly people from outside our region should not be dictating,” he said.

Turkey is hosting 8th ministerial Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process conference in Istanbul which was opened by presidential speeches of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani.

Foreign ministers of Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan besides high-level officials from many other countries including the U.S., the U.K and Europe are participating in the conference.

“We [Iran] encourage all Afghans to engage with each other for a peaceful solution […] that is focus of discussions with Taliban,” Zarif said when asked about Iran’s hosting of Taliban delegations with regard to Afghan peace process.

“They [Taliban] insisted that they agree with us [Iran] on this, and we will continue to talk to Taliban and others on the same principle,” he added.

Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump flew to Afghanistan on an unannounced visit and said his administration resumed peace talks with the Taliban as the formal peace talks resumed in the Qatari capital, Doha on Saturday.

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