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Taliban does not represent entire Afghanistan: Iran

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiyee reiterated on Tuesday his country’s support for intra-Afghan talks, stressing the need for the formation of a comprehensive government in Afghanistan.
“We assure the government and people of Afghanistan that the Islamic Republic of Iran will stand by them, and with good will we call on all ethnic groups, and political forces in Afghanistan to stand united and by rejecting any foreign intervention remain committed to peaceful solutions to their natural differences,” Rabiyee told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.
He underlined the necessity for protecting the territorial integrity of Afghanistan, preserving its national unity and respecting the rights of minorities and the achievements of the Afghan people over the past two decades, and said, “We emphasize that a genuine intra-Afghan dialogue is the only sustainable solution for the Afghan issue.” Rabiyee said that Taliban is also part of Afghanistan and part of Afghanistan’s future solution, adding, “What is important to us is the formation of an all-inclusive government with the presence of all Afghan groups to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution in this country.” He emphasized Iran’s continued insistence on non-interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan by any country, and said, “To achieve these goals and given the importance of cultural, historical and geographical ties between Afghanistan and Iran, we will continue our responsibility to communicate with the Afghan government and provide any necessary assistance” “We are closely monitoring the internal developments in Afghanistan and following the recent developments with concern. While calling on all parties to calm down, we do not consider the use of violence and non-peaceful behaviors useful in resolving differences, and we will continue our consultations with Kabul to end non-constructive conflicts and replace them with dialogue and engagement with the participation of all effective political groups and forces,” the spokesman concluded. In relevant remarks on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that Tehran believes that talks among different Afghan groups can resolve the crisis in the country, adding that the Taliban does not represent entire Afghanistan.
“We are holding talks with different parties of Afghanistan.

We believe that the genuine intra-Afghan dialogue is the only solution for Afghanistan. We have always said that we are ready to facilitate talks,” Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran. “The Taliban are not all Afghanistan. They are part of Afghanistan and part of the government and the future solution of Afghanistan,” he added.
“This is an issue that has been said many times, and what is important is an inclusive government that includes all the genuine Afghan groups and achieves a peaceful and lasting solution in Afghanistan.” “The security of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Afghanistan is very closely linked,” Khatibzadeh noted, stressing, “What is important to us is security, unity, an inclusive and authentic government in Afghanistan.”
“Violence in Afghanistan has escalated to alarming levels and some minorities are under pressure. We want everyone to respect their rights. Only a political solution can guarantee Afghanistan’s future,” he said. Afghanistan’s foreign ministry declared in a statement earlier this year that it is informed of a delegation of Taliban group to Tehran to negotiate with Iranian officials on the Afghan peace process. “The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has informed the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan about the visit of the Taliban delegation to Iran and has already requested and received the views of the Government of Afghanistan in this regard,” the statement said in January. Elaborating on the purpose of the Taliban delegation’s visit to Iran, it said in addition to a declaration of its views, Tehran informs the Taliban on the existence of a regional consensus on immediate ceasefire and a comprehensive peace agreement within the framework of the Republic system and preservation of Afghanistan’s constitutional values.
“Iran wants to ensure that the post-conflict Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for the terrorist groups and remains a center of regional and international cooperation,” the statement added. It expressed the hope that the Taliban would comply with the legitimate demands of the Afghan people to stop the bloodshed and ensure lasting peace.

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