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Iran’s Zarif meets Taliban, calls for inclusive government

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(Last Updated On: January 31, 2021)

During talks with a visiting Taliban delegation, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Sunday called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

Iran’s foreign ministry said in a press release after the meeting between the Taliban delegation, led by the group’s deputy leader Mullah Ghani Baradar, and Zarif that Iran’s foreign minister welcomed the idea of the formation of an “all-inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic and political groups in Afghanistan.”

“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,” Zarif said.

Zarif also expressed Iran’s readiness to facilitate dialogue between the Afghan government, the Taliban and other Afghan groups.

He said: “The noble people of Afghanistan have been wronged. The war and occupation of Afghanistan have dealt heavy blows to the Afghan people.”

Zarif was quoted in the statement as having 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”.

Meanwhile the statement noted that Baradar said in the meeting that he “denounced the destructive role of ISIS (Daesh) in Afghanistan.”

He did however express “satisfaction with the process of intra-Afghan talks, and described the formation of an all-inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic and political groups as a necessary condition for the establishment of peace in Afghanistan.”

The Taliban delegation arrived in Tehran on Tuesday at the invitation of Iran for talks with Iranian officials.

On Wednesday, they held talks with Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, during which Shamkhani accused the United States of “creating a deadlock” in the intra-Afghan peace talks.

Iran’s top security official called for the “involvement of all Afghan groups” to determine the fate of their country, saying Tehran will “not recognize” any group that seeks to “seize power through war”.

The visit of the Taliban delegation to Iran comes amid a second round of intra-Afghan talks in Doha. The talks resumed earlier this month but have failed to make any headway, even as violence peaks in Afghanistan.

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Grand assembly to discuss ways to improve economic, social conditions: Hanafi

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2022)

The grand assembly of religious scholars, scheduled to begin Thursday, is expected to discuss ways to improve economic and social conditions, Abdul Salam Hanafi, deputy prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said on Wednesday.

Hanafi said people from various ethnic groups and with different views will sit for discussion, which is a positive step in maintaining stability and strengthening national unity in the country.

 “After years, Afghans from various sections and ethnic groups and with different views sit with each other for discussion without foreign interference,” Hanafi said in an interview to RTA. “It is in itself a positive and valuable step for maintaining stability and strengthening national unity.”

He said that more than 3,000 people will participate in the gathering under the mega Loya Jirga tent in Kabul.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the IEA, also said that the gathering will be held under tight security measures.

He said that all technical preparations have been finalized and there will be several committees discussing key issues.

It will be the largest gathering in Kabul after the IEA took over in August last year. 

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Two political figures and one doctor return to country 

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2022)

Following the efforts of the Contact Commission with Afghan Personalities, Hasibullah Kalimzai, a former Senate member, General Habibullah Ahmadzai, an ex-advisor to President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Wardak, one of the country’s medical specialists, returned to Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) leaders said Wednesday that attempts are underway to make many other political figures return home.

In the meantime, returnees have expressed their satisfaction at making this decision.  

Kalimzai said he returned to the country after the commission’s call, adding that one of his wishes is to see the reopening of girls’ schools. 

“All women and girls should have equal rights to go to school, and I will continue my political activities; this is my homeland,” he added. 

Likewise, Habibullah Ahmadzai, an ex-advisor to Ghani, said that if the leaders of the former government had listened to his advice, the situation in the country would have been different.

He said: “If they (leaders of the former regime) had listened to what we had said, there would have been no problem, and now that we have arrived, we have returned home with the intention of cooperating with the Islamic Emirate.”

Meanwhile, dozens of Afghan political figures have returned to the country after the establishment of the Commission for Contact with Personalities and have been warmly welcomed by the Islamic Emirate.

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Afghan acting FM heads to Doha for talks with US

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2022)

Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting foreign minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), on Tuesday left Kabul for Doha for talks with US officials.

Officials from the ministry of finance and Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s central, bank is accompanying Muttaqi in the visit.

Hafiz Zia Ahmad, deputy spokesman for the Afghan foreign ministry, said that the delegation will meet with the US special envoy for Afghanistan and officials from the US Department of the Treasury.

He said that political, economic and banking issues will be discussed in the meeting.

This comes as the Washington Post reported on Tuesday that US officials are working with IEA leadership on a mechanism to allow Afghanistan’s government to use its central bank reserves to deal with a server hunger crisis, aiming to avert a humanitarian disaster.

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