"Taliban" & Afghan Government Release Joint Statement
Afghan government and "Taliban" delegates commend Iran's efforts in achieving peace in Afghanistan, and stress the need to do all that is necessary to reach a political solution.
The Afghan government and "Taliban" movement delegates lauded Iran's efforts and goodwill in "achieving peace in Afghanistan and its hospitality" in hosting the negotiations, between the two parties, on Wednesday and Thursday, calling the meeting "an opportunity and a new platform to enforce a political resolution of the Afghan problem."
In a joint statement, both sides agreed that war "is not the solution to the Afghan problem, and all efforts must aim to reach a political resolution."
The statement revealed that both sides agreed on the dangers of continuing the war, and the extent of its damage to internal security, saying that the talks "took place in a friendly atmosphere, and all matters were discussed frankly and in detail."
The statement also said that both sides have agreed to look into matters that need further consultation and clarity, such as founding a mechanism to move from war to lasting peace, the agreed-upon Islamic system, and how this may be achieved during the next meeting.
Both sides have condemned attacks on civilian homes, schools, mosques, and hospitals that have resulted in civilian casualties, "strongly" condemning the destruction of public facilities, demanding that the perpetrators be punished.
Yesterday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that four Afghan delegates were present in Iran to discuss, exchange views, and review relations with Foreign Ministry officials.
A spokesperson for the Taliban office in Qatar said that the Taliban delegates, led by Shir Mohammad Stanikzai, is visiting Tehran following an official invitation by Iranian authorities.
Violence and bloody clashes between Afghan government forces and "Taliban" fighters have increased as negotiations to reach a permanent ceasefire and look into the country's political future have stumbled.
In April, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the postponing of the Istanbul Conference for Peace in Afghanistan because of the "Taliban's" refusal to participate.
On May 1st, the US administration had announced the beginning of the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of invasion. White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the US administration expects the withdrawal process to end by late August.