KABUL: Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said on Tuesday in a tweet that the Taliban deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, along with his delegation, met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and discussed a “peaceful solution” to the “Afghan issue” and migrant problems in Iran.
Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon, the head of the EU’s delegation to Afghanistan, mentioned the peace talks in an interview with the media. “We should soon hear some good news,” Mayoudon said, because the “US is fully supporting this process and we hope to see very soon the concretization of these expectations because more than ever it is important that Afghans start talking.” He reiterated that the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban should “start negotiating.”
This is the second time a Taliban delegation has traveled to Tehran after the cancellation of the US-Taliban talks in Qatar in early September. “The Taliban’s visit to Iran means that Afghanistan’s neighbors, such as Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China, which the Taliban have repeatedly visited, can play a positive role in peace and can play a negative role. And the Taliban’s task is to ensure the neighbor countries play a positive role in Afghanistan’s peace process,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.
Iran has also confirmed the visit and Iranian Foreign Ministry sources told the media that one of the main goals of the meeting it to encourage the two sides to engage in dialogue between Afghans. “Iran should have been involved in the talks…If in the future peace comes, no regional government should feel isolated,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan. The German Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Markus Potzel, is going to Qatar for talks with the Taliban delegation about a meeting that Germany will host.
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