Iran Could Play Key Role in Afghan Peace Talks: Expert

File photo of a militant fighter wearing US military uniform while attacking the Afghan Interior Ministry building / Photo by Rahmat Gul, AP

An Afghan expert believes that Iran can play a key role in the Afghan peace process and is capable of contributing to stability in Afghanistan.

Entezar Khadem has told Fars News Agency that Iran as a neighbour of Afghanistan has an important role to play in the peace process, and it can do several vital tasks for peacekeeping.

“Iran can cooperate with Afghanistan on terrorism and stop the growth of terrorism in this country,” he added.

On the other hand, given its position, Iran can persuade the leaders of the Taliban group to establish peace and stability in Afghanistan, Khadem stressed.

The Afghan expert also noted that Tehran could help the Taliban to turn Afghanistan into a place free from terrorism and a country that no longer is a threat to various countries, including the United States.

Last Saturday, Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai said Washington’s failure to preserve security in the country is considered a defeat following the 17-year presence of US forces there.

Karzai said the US forces vowed to bring security as they entered Afghanistan, but they bombed innocent people and created insecurity in the country.

In an interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), he said the United States never backed up its words with action in Afghanistan. Karzai said the Afghan peace efforts will succeed through negotiations between Afghan groups, as well as an understanding with regional countries. He said Afghanistan wants friendship with its neighbours and the US efforts should not be against that.

The United States and the Taliban have begun their eighth round of talks in Qatar on Saturday, and the two sides are likely to agree to end the war in Afghanistan.

A Taliban source said the efforts are underway to organise a meeting between US envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar who is also the head of the militant group’s political office in Doha.

Officials close to the talks say they’re hopeful of a peace agreement by September one, before the Afghan polls due at the same month and ahead of the 2020 U-S presidential election. The initial deal to end US’ 18-year war is expected to reduce American troops in Afghanistan by half and in exchange, the Taliban would hold direct talks with Kabul and abide by a ceasefire.

A coalition led by Washington ousted the Taliban in late 2001 accusing it of harbouring Al-Qaeda who claimed the September 11 attacks against the US that killed many people.

But despite a rapid conclusion to the conventional phase of the war, the Taliban have proved formidable insurgents, bogging down US troops for years.

   
   

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