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World

Afghan peace process: Baradar-led Taliban delegation arrives in Iran to hold talks

  • Both sides are expected to discuss the ongoing intra-Afghan peace process and US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan
  • Delegation will meet senior Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Iran's special envoy for Afghanistan Ebrahim Taherianfard
26 Jan 2021

(Karachi) A high-level Taliban delegation arrived in Iran to hold talks with Iranian officials on the peace process in war-torn Afghanistan, local media reported on Tuesday.

As per details, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Taliban delegation's visit, led by deputy leader Mullah Ghani Baradar, comes on an invitation from Tehran. He added that the delegation will meet senior Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Iran's special envoy for Afghanistan Ebrahim Taherianfard.

Both sides are expected to discuss the ongoing intra-Afghan peace process and US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said the two sides will discuss relations between Tehran and Kabul, issues related to Afghan refugees in Iran, and prevailing political and security situation of Afghanistan and the region.

Taliban's visit comes as second round of intra-Afghan talks are underway in Doha and days after the new US administration said it will review a deal reached between the militant group and the outgoing Donald Trump administration.

The peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban has made little progress as the rising incidents of violence hindered the talks that first began in September last year.

Earlier, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said a "new chapter has been opened" in Kabul's relations with Washington, welcoming President Joe Biden's plan to review the troop drawdown.

In February this year, a deal was struck between the United States and the Taliban in which it was agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released from Afghan prisons before peace talks between the militant group and the government.

On August 10, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree to release the final batch of prisoners demanded by the Taliban as a condition to move to peace talks.

Later, the Afghan government released the remaining Taliban prisoners, kicking of intra-Afghan peace talks.