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Spokesman: Iran in Contact with All Involved Parties in Afghanistan

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that his country is in contact with all parties in Afghanistan to pave the ground for dialogue and reconciliation.

“We are closely monitoring developments [in Afghanistan] and are in contact with all involved parties,” Khatibzadeh told reporters on Monday.

“As [Iran’s Foreign Minister] Dr. [Mohammad Javad] Zarif said in his [Sunday] tweet, the Islamic Republic of Iran will use all facilities and means at its disposal to pave the way for dialogue and reconciliation in Afghanistan and also welcomes the initiative to form a coordination council (proposed by Afghanistan’s former president, Hamid Karzai),” he added.

In a Sunday tweet after Taliban forces entered the Afghan capital and the country’s President Ashraf Ghani left for a yet uncertain destination, the Iranian foreign minister rejected war and violence as a solution to the existing problems in the neighboring Afghanistan, reiterating Iran’s support for the establishment of sustainable peace in the war-hit country.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its efforts to [help realize] reconciliation in Afghanistan,” the top diplomat added.

Zarif’s tweet came after Karzai announced via a Sunday Twitter post the establishment of a coordination council, attended by high-ranking Afghan officials, including the country’s chief peace negotiator with the Taliban, Abdullah Abdullah, to be responsible for the “peaceful transfer of power” and reduce the possibility of further chaos and insecurity that would harm the Afghan people.

Karzai noted that the council was formed after Ghani and other officials left the country in order to manage Afghanistan’s affairs in the best possible manner and pave the way for the peaceful transition of power.

Khatibzadeh also said Iran enjoys a great deal of historical and cultural commonalities with Afghanistan and has always stood by the Muslim people of the neighboring country at all sensitive and important junctures of history despite all difficulties and limitations.

As always, he added, Iran will stand by the Afghan people at the current decisive juncture and will “make its utmost efforts to [help] achieve peace” in the crisis-hit country.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran expresses concern over the intensified violence in Afghanistan and calls on all sides to reduce violence, maintain peace and try to achieve peaceful solutions via dialogue,” Khatibzadeh said.

He referred to the new wave of displaced people as a result of the violence in Afghanistan, and said, “We hope that the international community and concerned institutions would pay serious attention to this issue, and especially under conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic, would fulfill their duties and help these displaced people.”

Khatibzadeh also stressed the importance of paying serious attention to security of Iranian diplomats and diplomatic missions in accordance with international conventions, and said, “Iran’s Foreign Ministry is in constant contact with the diplomatic staff in its embassy and consulate in [the Afghan cities of] Kabul and Herat and is consistently monitoring the ongoing developments.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that all sides would come together to solve the existing problems through dialogue and political understanding,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said, adding, “Iran, once again, declares its readiness to facilitate resolution of Afghanistan’s issues through intra-Afghan dialogue … and also to help forge regional consensus on the issue of Afghanistan”

Khatibzadeh had on Sunday said the country’s embassy in Kabul is still active, but has reduced the number of its personnel.

As for Iran’s consulate general in Herat, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “Our diplomats are in good conditions and have no problem for getting back to Iran, but it was decided that they should stay at the mission for now.”

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