May 28, 2024

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Zarif discusses Afghanistan with regional officials

Iran’s top diplomat has stepped up his diplomatic efforts in the region in a bid to help the neighboring Afghanistan settle its ongoing political crisis.

Following talks with top Afghan officials in recent days, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held separate phone calls with his Turkish, Indian, Qatari and Russian counterparts on Monday to discuss the latest development of the political situation in Afghanistan and the country’s peace process.

Afghanistan has been locked in a political impasse following the announcement of the results of the last year’s presidential election. 

Former chief executive officer of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah has disputed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s official victory in the election.

The Afghan government has been also negotiating a political settlement to decades of strife with the Taliban militant group which signed an agreement with the United States in late February to end the presence of the US forces in the country with the aim of creating the conditions for achieving a lasting cease-fire in the country.

Under the agreement with the US, the Taliban group released 20 Afghan security forces on Sunday after the government released 300 “low-risk” Taliban captives, who have pledged not to return to the fight.

This came after the Taliban suspended intra-Afghan peace talks with the government last Tuesday over disagreements on the release of prisoners.

On Sunday, Zarif held phone conversation with caretaker of the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan Mohammad Hanif Atmar.

Zarif stressed the need for unity among various Afghan groups and called for efforts to establish peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The talks came days after the Iranian official held talks with President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah on various issues.

Zarif expressed Iran’s readiness to contribute to the resolution of the disputes that have arisen after the recent Afghan presidential election.

He reiterated the importance of the political structures based on Afghanistan’s Constitution in the country’s peace process and national reconciliation and stressed Tehran’s support for the peace process with the participation of all Afghan political groups within the framework of the country’s Constitution.

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