Friday, December 9, 2022

Taliban spokesperson: Muttaqi’s visit to Iran had major achievements

A Taliban spokesperson says a recent visit by Afghanistan's Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi to Iran was an important trip with major achievements.

Deputy spokesman for Afghanistan’s Taliban-run government Bilal Karimi told Tehran-based Entekhab news and analysis website that during the trip, the two sides discussed in detail issues such as the expansion of security and economic cooperation, expressing hope that such bilateral talks would continue.

Muttaqi visited Iran earlier in January and held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

Karimi noted that Iran is an important country in the region and one of Afghanistan’s most important neighbors, stressing that the Taliban leadership wants to expand relations with Tehran.

Afghanistan and Iran share a long border, have many religious and cultural commonalities and relations between the two sides need to be free from political and security tensions, Karimi stated.

He added that Iran is currently hosting several million Afghan refugees, which shows its goodwill and cooperation with Afghanistan.

“We assure all countries in the region, and especially our neighbors such as Iran and Central Asian countries that we will not pose any threat to them,” the Taliban spokesperson noted.

Asked about a border skirmish between Taliban forces and Iranian border guards in early December, he said the incident was a misunderstanding due to lack of coordination.

“We want to work closely with the Islamic Republic of Iran to prevent a recurrence of such incidents,” he added.

Karimi also said the Taliban government meets all the criteria for an independent government, calling on regional countries and the rest of the international community to recognize the group.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan following America’s chaotic withdrawal of its forces in August. Ever since, the group has faced international calls to form an inclusive government.

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