September 18, 2020

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Zarif say Iran ready to help Afghanistan restore peace

TEHRAN — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reiterated Iran’s long-held position to help Afghans fully restore peace and stability in their country.

In a phone conversation with Afghan caretaker foreign minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Tuesday, Zarif expressed satisfaction with the launch of intra-Afghan talks in Doha, Tasnim reported.

Zarif and Atmar also talked about bilateral issues within the context of the comprehensive document on strategic cooperation.

Talks between Afghanistan and Taliban to end the country’s long-running conflict kick off in Doha on Saturday. It was the first time the two sides have convened for peace talks since the United States invaded Afghanistan nineteen years ago.

It comes months after a U.S. deal with the Taliban, under which the Donald Trump administration agreed to reduce the U.S. troop presence from 12,000 to 8,600 within a few months and to withdraw all of these forces by mid-2021. 

The drawdown is ahead of schedule. Trump, who is seeking re-election in November without a meaningful foreign policy achievement, has promised to have fewer than five thousand U.S. troops in Afghanistan by Election Day.

In a statement on Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry expressed the hope that the two sides would be able to reach a lasting agreement by preserving the valuable achievements of the Afghan people.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes start of inter-Afghan talks between the Afghan government, political groups and the Taliban, and hopes that these talks will lead to the desired results for the establishment of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and security in the region without foreign intervention and in a comprehensive understanding between Afghans,” the statement read.

It also reiterated Iran’s position that there is no military solution to Afghanistan’s problems, emphasizing that the continued presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan is one of the main reasons behind the continuation of the war in the country.

MH/PA

Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/452553/Zarif-say-Iran-ready-to-help-Afghanistan-restore-peace

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