March 4, 2021

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Zarif meets with Taliban delegation in Tehran

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met on Sunday with a Taliban delegation led by deputy head of the group’s political bureau Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

In the meeting, Zarif welcomed the idea of formation of an all-inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic and political groups in Afghanistan, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Political decisions could not be made in a vacuum, and the formation of an all-inclusive government must take place in a participatory process and by taking into account the fundamental structures, institutions and laws, such as the Constitution,” the statement quoted Zarif as saying in the meeting.

The chief Iranian diplomat expressed Iran’s readiness to facilitate dialogue among the Taliban, the Afghan government and other Afghan groups, noting, “The noble people of Afghanistan have been wronged. The war and occupation of Afghanistan have dealt heavy blows to the Afghan people.”

He expressed hope that the Taliban would focus efforts on an immediate end to the pains and problems of Afghan people so that the establishment of peace in Afghanistan would strip the outsiders of a pretext for occupation.

‘Inclusive Islamic government’

According to a Tasnim report, Zarif also voiced support for an all-inclusive Islamic government in Afghanistan.

“We support the formation of an all-inclusive Islamic government with the participation of all ethnicities and sects and consider it necessary for Afghanistan,” Zarif was quoted by Tasnim as telling the Taliban delegation. He underlined the need for the Taliban to avoid targeting the people of Afghanistan.

Zarif also told the Taliban delegation that the United States is not a good mediator.

The Taliban delegation, for its part, gave a report of the Afghan peace process and the intra-Afghan negotiations.

“Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar also noted that the relations between Afghanistan and Iran are based upon friendship and good neighborliness, expressing hope for the expansion of relations between the two countries with the establishment of peace and calm in Afghanistan,” the statement noted.

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