Iran FM says Afghans to decide degree of Taliban role in country

TEHRAN, Jan. 09 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Ministry said that Taliban will have a role in the future of Afghanistan but Afghans themselves will determine the level of its role.

He made the remarks in an exclusive interview with India’s NDTV which was published today.

"I think it would be impossible to have a future Afghanistan without any role for the Taliban. But we also believe that the Taliban do not have - should not have a dominant role in Afghanistan. Of course at the end of the day that is the decision that the Afghans need to make," said Zarif.

"We disagreed with Pakistan in the 90s when they created the Taliban or helped create the Taliban. We were the first to offer victims to suffer in the hands of the Taliban - 11 of my colleagues were murdered by the Taliban, but we cannot be prisoners of the past. We need to work for a better future and Iran is ready to work with Pakistan in order to realize what the Pakistani leaders have been telling us that they believe fighting extremists groups is in their national security interest and we believe analytically, that that is the case."

"We believe that Pakistani position on Afghanistan is evolving and we believe that Pakistan now is trying to play a positive role in getting a peace process underway in Afghanistan. I understand that the Pakistanis also do not wish to see an Afghanistan dominated by extremists groups... but for Pakistan, it is an existential threat. Extremism in Pakistan and Afghanistan is an existential threat for Pakistan," he added.

MAH/PR

News Code 141358

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