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Abdullah escalates rhetoric against Taliban violence

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KABUL: Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s point man for peace process, has issued escalated remarks against the Taliban for sticking to their guns about ramping up violence amid ongoing negotiations in Qatar.

High Council for National Reconciliation chairman, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, took on the Taliban in an event in Afghan embassy in Tehran on Sunday, arguing that escalation of violence was unacceptable as peace negotiations are underway.

Abdullah, who is in a tour to Iran to seek Tehran’s support for Afghanistan peace talks, has met with President Rohani of Iran and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other high-ranking officials.

In an event in Afghanistan Embassy in Tehran, he stated that his travel to Iran meant to draw support from Iran for Afghanistan peace process in view of the effect role the country can play in this respect.

“Iranian officials, during our meetings, stressed on the success of peace talks led and owned by Afghans,” he said. He touted longstanding relations between Iran and Afghanistan, and said that Iran was one of the countries that incessantly supported Afghanistan during Jihad and resistance as well as in the past two decades and its support now for an Afghan-led peace process.

Dr. Abdullah emphasized that expansion of Afghan-Tehran bilateral ties will be in the benefit of both countries and the region.

He stated that a comprehensive blueprint for bilateral strategic ties has been forged and a joint session will be held in Kabul.

We are also negotiating with Iranian officials to secure better facilities and a favorable representation of Afghan refugees in Iran.

Abdullah Abdullah’s Iran visit comes after the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad blasted Iran for wanting “to keep the U.S. in an unwinnable and costly war in Afghanistan”.

This is as calls have intensified for reduction of violence and ceasefire amid an escalation of Taliban hostilities across the country. On Sunday, a car bomb attack rocked western Ghor province, killing and wounded over 113 people, mostly civilians.

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