Iran confirms talks with “moderate” Afghan Taliban
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 7
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Esmail Kowsari, a member of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, confirmed that a delegation from the Afghan Taliban group has visited Iran last month.
The delegation, which visited Tehran, belongs to a branch of Taliban who believe on settling issues through "negotiation," the senior Iranian MP said on June 7.
Earlier, Marzieh Afkham, the foreign ministry's spokeswoman said that the ministry is not informed about the visit of the delegation.
"We have no information on the issue," Afkham said, adding the sources which have disseminated the information should be found.
Kowsari further said he can't disclose the details of Iran's negotiations with the Taliban delegation headed by Tayyab Agha, who is in charge of the Taliban's political bureau in Qatar, Iran's YJC news agency reported.
"They expressed readiness for negotiations and travelled to Tehran for talks," said Kowsari.
They were not from the "hardliner" Taliban, said the Iranian MP underlining that Iran will never accept extremist Taliban members.
"Iran welcomes those who want to resolve the issues via dialogue and negotiate with them to solve the regional problems," Kowsari added.
Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that Taliban's delegation travelled to Iran in mid-May to hold talks with the Islamic Republic security officials.
Taliban's delegation and the Iranian security officials discussed regional issues, in particular the recent developments in the Islamic world, as well as the situation of Afghan migrants, according to the report.
Similar Taliban delegations visited Iran twice in the past to hold talks with Iran's security officials and to participate in an international conference.
Taliban emerged in early 1990s in northern Pakistan following the withdrawal of former Soviet Union troops from Afghanistan. They were in power in Afghanistan from mid-1990s until 2001.
The hard-liner group has in recent years carried out numerous high-profile attacks on Kabul, Afghanistan.
Taliban announced earlier that it established a political bureau in Qatar to stay in touch with the other countries.
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