Taliban seek dialogue with Iran over water dispute
KABUL: Taliban’s acting foreign minister has met with Iran’s envoy ambassador in Kabul amid rising tensions between the two countries over Helmand River.
Foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a meeting on Saturday with Iran’s Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi discussed strengthening of bilateral ties and stressed that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan sought good neighborly ties with Iran. Muttaqi said any dispute can be resolved through dialogues and mutual understanding between the two sides.
The high-profile meeting between the two officials came against the background of a simmering dispute over Iran’s claims to water from Helmand River. The Taliban say there is not enough water to flow form Kajaki Dam towards Iranian border. Since Afghanistan built Kajaki Dam, Iran claims it has received very little water from Helmand River, demanding the Taliban to release Iran’s share of the river’s waters.
Taliban and Iranian officials also discussed release of Afghan prisoners on death row in Iran and several other issues of mutual interest. Muttaqi asked Iran to resume transferring Afghan prisoners, delaying executions of Afghan prisoners sentenced to death, and facilitating visas for Afghan citizens.
Iranian ambassador Qomi shared details about Iran’s latest comment in the Doha meeting and reminded that the Iran delegation supports the new Afghan government in this meeting. He stressed concerted cooperation between Afghanistan and Iran and border management.