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Muttaqi visits Iran for talks on refugees, economy

AT News

KABUL: The Taliban’s foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi visited Iran on Saturday to discuss Afghan refugees and a growing economic crisis.

“The visit aims at discussions on political, economic, transit and refugee issues between Afghanistan and Iran,” Taliban spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said on Twitter.

It is the first such trip since the Taliban seized power amid the collapse of the Western-backed government and a chaotic withdrawal of U.S.-led foreign forces in August.

The Taliban delegation led by Amir Khan Muttaqi has already held a preliminary meeting with Iranian officials, he said.

Iran, which has not recognized the new government formed by the Taliban, is hosting millions of Afghans and fears a new influx of refugees.

Last month its border guards clashed with Taliban fighters along a segment of the border in what Iranian-state media reported was a “misunderstanding” from the Afghan side.

Iran, which shares a 900-kilometer border with Afghanistan, did not recognize the Taliban rule the first time the Taliban held power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

“Today, we are basically not at the point of recognizing” the Taliban, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a news conference earlier this week.

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