KABUL: Iran is hosting senior officials from Afghanistan’s neighbouring states in a one-day conference to discuss the situation in the Taliban-ruled country, calling on the Taliban to establish
Foreign ministers of Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan on Wednesday gathered in Tehran. Foreign ministers of China and Russia also participated through a video link.
The meeting was inaugurated by newly elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who has made engaging with the region a top priority in his foreign policy direction. On Tuesday, Raisi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian held separate bilateral talks with each of the foreign ministers.
Iran has maintained its official position calling for an “inclusive” government in Afghanistan even after the Taliban announced the formation of an administration that does not represent ethnic and religious groups or women.
The Iranian foreign ministry has said the aim of the event was to shape a united front among the neighbours in the call for the formation of an “inclusive” government in Afghanistan.
It said the meeting is focused on controlling refugee waves following the Taliban’s takeover of the country in August, ensuring economic security for Afghanistan and fighting radicalism.
The talks follow a virtual meeting in early September between the foreign ministers, hosted by Pakistan.
Before the withdrawal of the United States-led foreign forces from Afghanistan in August, Tehran hosted intra-Afghan talks that included the Taliban earlier this year.
Iran has said it remains in constant contact with all parties in Afghanistan, including the Taliban.
A Taliban commerce official recently announced the group is eager to buy oil from Iran and hopes its western neighbour grants the request to help address Afghanistan’s fuel shortages.