Iran to continue talks with Taliban: spox

TEHRAN, Mar. 02 (MNA) – Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Mon. that Iran will continue its talks with the Taliban and with the Afghan government's knowledge, adding that the US-Taliban pact will not affect the talks.

“The Taliban as a group that exists and plays a role in Afghanistan is an undeniable fact. What Iran insists on is that all paths to peace in Afghanistan should pass through intra-Afghan consensus and that they must be led by the central government and all Afghan parties and groups should be included in them,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.

He made the remarks in his weekly press conference regarding a question about a pact signed between the US and Taliban representatives aimed at gradually withdrawing foreign troops from Afghanistan.

Noting that the Iranian government had made some contacts with the Taliban with the knowledge of the Afghan government, Mousavi said, "we support any efforts for stability and security in Afghanistan, but we doubt the sincerity of the US’ intentions.”

“The very presence of America in the region is illegal and it has no right to step into our region and interfere in the internal affairs of the regional countries,” he stressed.

He said the US’ agreement with the Taliban stemmed from Washington’s failure in achieving its goals in the region.

“We do not regard this act as respecting the national sovereignty of Afghanistan; rather, the Americans did so for the sake of their illegitimate interests,” Mousavi added.

“We will continue our talks with the Taliban as before and with the knowledge of the Afghan government, and the Taliban-US agreement will not have any effect on these talks,” he concluded.

MNA/IRN83697992

News Code 156232

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