Afghan Peace Process Must Include All Afghan Groups: Iran

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi says all Afghan groups must be incorporated into a peace process supervised and supported by the central government of Afghanistan in order to bring back stability to the war-torn state.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran basically agrees with any adoption of peaceful and democratic means of governing regional countries,” Mousavi told reporters in his press briefing on Monday.

“Iran supports the fact that the government, nation, and various groups of Afghanistan have adopted the approach of elections,” he noted.

“Iran believes the solution to current problems in Afghanistan is the presence of all political groups and players in the country, and that they – under the support and guidance of the central government of Afghanistan – are incorporated into a process that would finally result in peace and stability in the country and in our region,” he went on to say.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran supports a stable and secure Afghanistan, and has always – in its talks with Afghan groups – insisted on its principled policy, and will continue to do so,” he added.

People of Afghanistan headed to the polls on Saturday to pick their next president, even as the threat of violence and concerns over electoral fraud led many to stay home.

The vote, the fourth since the Taliban’s removal from power by a United States-led coalition in 2001, came as heavy fighting between the armed group and government forces has led to a spike in the number of civilians killed.

Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s chief executive and President Ashraf Ghani’s top rival, has claimed victory after the first round of voting in the presidential election over the weekend, though official counting is still under way.

“We have the most votes in this election,” Abdullah said at a news conference on Monday.

“The results will be announced by the IEC [Independent Election Commission], but we have the most votes. The election is not going to go to a second round,” he said.

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