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Iran held talks with Taliban amid efforts for Afghan peace

KABUL: Iran has met with the Taliban, a top Iranian security official said Wednesday according to the Tasnim news agency, just days after the group attended peace talks in Abu Dhabi.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, made the announcement while on a visit to the Afghan capital Kabul, several Iranian agencies reported.

“The Afghan government has been informed of the communications and talks carried out with the Taliban, and this process will continue,” he said, quoted by Tasnim.

Shamkhani met Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul where they discussed bilateral relations, security developments, peace and regional connectivity.

“We agreed to join efforts to fight terrorism and radicalism,” Abdullah tweeted.

No details on where the talks took place were given by the news agency, which is considered close to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

“The Islamic Republic has always been one of the primary pillars of stability in the region and cooperation between the two countries will certainly help in fixing Afghanistan’s security issues of today,” Shamkhani said.

Abas Aslani, a reporter for Tasnim, tweeted that it was the first time talks had been confirmed between Iran and the Taliban.

This comes after US and Taliban officials held meetings in Abdu Dhabi, UAE, to discuss a political settlement and ways to facilitate direct talks between the militants and the Afghan government.

The Taliban said they 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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