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Taliban confirm team’s visit to Tehran

Taliban confirm team’s visit to Tehran

Jun 03, 2013 - 10:54

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Talibaninfo-icon on Monday confirmed a delegation of their senior leaders paid two visits to Tehran at the invitation of the Iranian government.

Qari Mohammad Yousaf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, confirmed the trip a day after a strong denial by Iranian foreign ministry’s spokesman.

In an emailed statement, Ahmadi said: "Some while ago a delegation headed by the Islamic Emirate's political office chief paid a three-day visit to Tehran.

Led by Tayeb Agha, the team had returned from the visit aimed to discuss issues of mutual interest, he said, without elaborating on who the delegates met in Tehran.

Another Taliban delegation also visited Iran, home to a large number of Afghan refugees, to attend a conference on Islamic awakening, the statement said.

“This visit took place as a result of an official invitation from the Iranian government and the Taliban negotiators conveyed their demands to the representatives of different countries of the worldinfo-icon and briefed them on the current situation in Afghanistaninfo-icon,” the statement added

The delegation discussed with senior Iranian officials different issues, particularly the problems of Afghan refugees in Iran. They asked Iranian officials to pay attention to resolve their problems.

At talks in Tehran, Taliban negotiators urged Iran not to back their political rivals in the Northern Alliance to prevent a possible civil war in Afghanistan after foreign forces’ withdrawal in 2014.

A Pakistani newspaper reported on Monday the Taliban leaders assured their interlocutors they would accommodate all factions in any future setup in Afghanistan, a Pakistani newspaper reported.

The Express Tribune quoted an unnamed Taliban source as saying: “The visit was aimed at assuring Iran that all ethnic and sectarian groups will have representation in any post-NATO set-up."

On Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul said it would investigate the delegation’s trip to Tehran. “We are in contact with Iranian authorities to establish whether reports about the visit are right or wrong,” a ministry spokesman told a news conference.

Janan Musazai said it would be premature to discuss the issue before the Iranians officially commented. He explained Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Syed Abbas Araqchi had already rejected the report as baseless.



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