Iran foreign minister meets senior Taliban official

Iran foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar one of the leaders of the Taliban outfit in Afghanistan.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif reacts during a news conference with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) after their meeting in Moscow, Russia, September 2, 2019. (Reuters Photo)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks in Tehran with a Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the group's founders, the official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday.

Zarif expressed Iran's willingness to support dialogue between all Afghan parties with the participation of the Afghan government, according to IRNA.

The Taliban have refused to talk to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, denouncing it as a U.S. puppet.

Last week, the Taliban released American and Australian university professors held hostage for more than three years, completing a delayed prisoner swap and raising hopes for a revival of peace talks.

Iran also held talks with a delegation from Afghanistan’s Taliban in September, a week after peace talks between the United States and the Islamist insurgents collapsed.

 

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