Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs Abbas Araqchi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani discussed the outcome of Iran-Taliban talks in Tehran last week, stressing the need for closer coordination between the Afghan and Iranian government for the efforts to restore peace to the war-torn country bear fruits.
The discussions were held in a meeting in Kabul on Saturday, as the Afghan government has accelerated efforts to bring Taliban into the Afghan politics and put an end to the decades-long militancy in the country.
Araqchi, who led the Iranian delegation in talks with Taliban members in Tehran last week, said Iran is committed to respecting the Afghan government’s role in pushing forward the peace process in the country.
Last week, Secretary for Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani revealed that Iran has engaged in talks with the Afghan Taliban under the Afghan government’s guidance.
The developments came following talks last week between the US and Taliban officials in the United Arab Emirates.
The Taliban announced they have also held meetings with officials from the UAE, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Need for Closer Cooperation on Chabahar Port
In the meeting, the two sides also discussed ways of improving bilateral relations, particularly to increase cooperation on the strategic Chabahar port.
The port, located on the coast of the Gulf of Oman, is expected to play a significant role in facilitating trade between regional countries, particularly the land-locked Central Asian countries.
India, Afghanistan and Iran signed a trilateral transit agreement on the expansion of Chabahar Port in 2016.
The Iranian port will have four phases, of which one has gone operational so far.
Araqchi, who is in Kabul for a one-day trip, is to hold a separate meeting with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to discuss bilateral relations and Afghanistan’s peace process.
Araqchi is also expected to follow up on a document for strategic cooperation, which has been in the making for months.
This is the second trip of Araqchi to Afghanistan in the past three months.