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Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan urge ceasefire, political settlement

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KABUL: A high-level trilateral meeting between Afghanistan, Turkey and Iran foreign ministers has stressed an end to conflict in Afghanistan and the need for a political solution and a stellar role for the countries to advance the long-running Kabul-Taliban peace talks.

Addressing the trilateral meeting in Turkey on Sunday, the Afghan foreign minister Hanif Atmar said that Afghanistan has been victim of a long war of extremism, calling for concrete regional support to end the conflict.

The trilateral meeting ended with the issuance of a declaration with the participation of Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and Javad Zarif, foreign ministers of the three countries, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Atmar stressed the urgency for a stronger regional and international consensus to eliminate the threat of terrorism in Afghanistan, the region and the world. He described the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan as a special opportunity to redouble efforts to reach a political settlement and ensure lasting peace in the country.

The minister said that Turkey and Iran, along with Pakistan, Russia, Qatar and India, can use their position and influence to unify their views for the success of Afghan peace talks.

In the final communiqué of the meeting, the three sides stressed the need for a political solution, establishment of a ceasefire and constructive role of countries in the success of Afghan peace talks, and the establishment of an independent, free, united and democratic Afghanistan.

The foreign ministers of the three countries agreed to strengthen and expand political-economic cooperation, especially the implementation of joint regional connectivity projects, as well as the joint fight against terrorism and organized crime, including the prevention of illegal immigration, the statement said.

The source added that the three sides also emphasized the implementation of regional connection projects and agreed on the finalization and signing of a trade and transit memorandum between the three countries.

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