Official: No Military Solution to Problems in Afghanistan

Assistant to Iranian Foreign Minister and Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for West Asia Seyed Rasoul Mousavi reiterated his country’s support for the peace process in Afghanistan, saying that problems in the war-hit country should be settled through talks.

“We support the peace process by Afghans with the participation of all Afghan groups, including the Taliban, and without any foreign influence and interference,” Mousavi said, addressing a meeting of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process via a video conference on Tuesday.

He underlined that the problems in Afghanistan have no military solution, adding, “We consider the responsible withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan as a necessary step towards peace.”

Mousavi said that Iran invites the Taliban to join the Afghan-Afghan talks, view peace talks as the only way to reach an acceptable political solution and avoid violence during the negotiations.

“We are ready to help strengthening the peace negotiations by the help of our capacity and capability upon the demand of participants,” he said.

In relevant remarks on Sunday, Iran’s Special Envoy on Afghanistan Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian Fard voiced concern about increased insecurities in Afghanistan, after the Saturday blasts in Kabul, stressing Tehran’s readiness to help the country in holding intra-Afghan talks.

“Establishment of peace and stability not only is the general demand of people, government and different Afghan streams but also is considered as a need on the path of development of regional cooperation and collective security,” Taherian said.

He referred to the recent approvals of the Loya Jirga (the grand tribal council) in Afghanistan to establish peace, and underlined the necessity for paving the ground for holding Afghan-Afghan talks with the aim of reaching an agreement.

Taherian reiterated the Islamic Republic of Iran’s preparedness for cooperation in holding the intra-Afghan talks.

Kabul witnessed four explosions on Saturday that killed at least one security force member and wounded six others–including a civilian–and an assault by gunmen on a vehicle killing an MoD official and his driver, amid hopes for potential peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Also, in mid-July, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi had also underscored Tehran’s commitment to help the Afghan government to establish peace in the war-hit country.

Araqchi made the remarks in a meeting with Afghanistan’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Hanif Atmar in Kabul on July 15.

He reiterated Iran’s support for the peace process in Afghanistan, led by its government, and expressed hope that the intra-Afghan talks would soon kick off with the participation of all political factions.

Araqchi also stressed that the Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to assist the Afghan government with advancing the peace process given the mutual concerns and interests of the two neighboring countries.

He further said Iran attaches importance to preserving the achievements made by the Afghan people regarding the constitution and democratic structures of their country after four decades of war.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral ties, peace process in Afghanistan, regional and international issues, problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and economic cooperation.

They also agreed on a roadmap and the time schedule to finalize a comprehensive strategic cooperation deal.

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