Iran welcomes direct talks between Afghanistan, Pakistan

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian foreign ministry welcomed direct talks between the Afghan and Pakistani officials to settle the problems between the two countries.

“We have always supported the bilateral and multilateral talks among the regional states to find solution to their problems and establish peace and stability and believe that any plan or road map imposed from outside the region will not provide for the interests of the regional states and will lead to the further complication of crises,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi said on Wednesday.

“We are concerned about the problems of Pakistan and Afghanistan as two proximate neighbors of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready for any kind of assistance to obviate the problems,” he added.

A senior Pakistani official said his country is willing to help get peace talks started with the Taliban if asked.

Sartaj Aziz, a special adviser on national security and foreign affairs, said Islamabad has been trying to help jumpstart the peace process because a stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest.

But Aziz told a news conference Sunday that any peace talks must be Afghan-owned and led. He was on a one-day visit to Afghanistan.

Peace talks have not yet begun and the Taliban earlier this month closed their political office in Qatar, at least temporarily, after a dispute broke out over their use of the name and flag they had during their five-year rule.

By Fars News Agency


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