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Taliban in Tehran held talks on Afghan peace: Iranian official

AT-KABUL: Iran—a state that has been accused of supporting the Taliban group, said that the Taliban representatives from Afghanistan negotiated with Iranian officials in Tehran on Sunday.

The talks were held with the knowledge of Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and were intended to set parameters for negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Monday.

“A Taliban delegation was in Tehran yesterday (Sunday). They had comprehensive negotiations with the Iranian deputy foreign minister,” Bahram Qasemi said in a news conference broadcast live on state television.

Taliban landed in Tehran just days after its country’s top security leadership Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council visited Kabul, where he met with Afghan officials, and said they held talks with the Taliban to bring peace in Afghanistan.

Moreover, at least two weeks ago, the US and Taliban as well as some regional countries representatives gathered in Abdu Dhabi to discuss a political settlement to end the long-standing conflict in Afghanistan. US said it would speed up peace talks with the Taliban group in a bid to convince them join the intra-Afghan dialogue. But, the Taliban group time and again dismissed meeting Afghan peace team that irked Kabul administration.   

During their meeting in United Arabia Emirates, the Taliban also held meetings with officials from the UAE, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, but the militants refused to meet a delegation from Afghanistan.

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