Iran hosts Taliban to discuss Afghan peace process

27 Nov 2019

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This screengrab from a video made on May 28, 2019 in Moscow shows Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) and Stanakzai Sher Mohammad Abbas, Taliban chief negotiators during a conference. — AFP/File
This screengrab from a video made on May 28, 2019 in Moscow shows Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) and Stanakzai Sher Mohammad Abbas, Taliban chief negotiators during a conference. — AFP/File

Iran's state TV says a delegation of the Taliban visited Tehran and discussed efforts to bring a negotiated end to Afghanistan's 18-year war.

Wednesday's report said Taliban politburo chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar met with Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. It said they discussed Tehran's readiness to help facilitate intra-Afghan dialogue.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen tweeted that the meeting took place on Tuesday.

While rare, these are not the first talks between the Taliban and Iranian officials.

US-Taliban peace talks collapsed in September. In the following weeks, a Taliban delegation travelled to Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan.

Last Tuesday, the Taliban freed an American and an Australian held hostage since 2016 in exchange for three top Taliban figures. The insurgent group said the swap could help rekindle peace negotiations.