Peace dialogue on Afghanistan needs participation of Afghan govt.

TEHRAN, Nov. 24 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday that any plan on Afghanistan’s peace process needs to be conducted with the active participation of the Afghan government.

Zarif made the remarks during a meeting with Mohammad Mohaqiq, the second deputy to the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah.

A high-ranking delegation, including Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, is accompanying Mohaqiq on this visit to Tehran.

The top Iranian diplomat noted that “Iran strongly supports the peace initiatives in Afghanistan under the guidance and with active participation of the country’s government.”

The Islamic Republic will use all its capacities to help the Afghan government to propel such plan forward, he added.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the promotion of reciprocal ties in different fields. They also reviewed the developments of the five committees that were set up last year to boost mutual cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

Later in the day, Zarif met with Karzai and conferred on a range of regional and mutual topics, as well as Afghanistan’s peace talks.

Russia hosted a conference on Afghanistan’s peace on Nov. 9 as an attempt to bring the Taliban and the Afghan government closer to direct peace talks.

However, the Kabul government did not send a delegation. Instead, members of the High Peace Council (HPC), a government-appointed body responsible for reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, attended the event, where they repeated Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's offer of peace talks without pre-conditions.

According to the delegations from the Taliban and HPC, the meeting ended without the sides agreeing on a path to direct dialogue.

MR/IRN83111102/ 4467002

News Code 139882

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