Tehran Says Taliban's Absence From Tehran Meeting Was Their Own Decision

Tuesday, 06/11/2024

Nasser Kanaani, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, explained the absence of the Taliban at the Tehran meeting held on Saturday.

Kanaani stated that the Taliban had been invited to the meeting, but the group's officials decided that their representatives would not attend.

He described the Tehran meeting as a continuation of similar meetings held regionally and internationally regarding Afghanistan.

During a press conference on Monday, he said, "At the Tehran meeting, the participating delegations discussed a wide range of issues concerning Afghanistan, including counter-terrorism, aid to improve the livelihood and economy of the Afghan people, and the political developments in Afghanistan, all within the framework of contributing to Afghanistan's security through enhanced regional cooperation mechanisms."

Kanaani emphasised that developments in Afghanistan and "any disruption and deficiencies in its security and economic situation" would not remain confined within Afghanistan's borders and would "impact the overall situation of the region”.

The second meeting of the Regional Contact Group for Afghanistan was held in Tehran on Saturday, June 8. Representatives from Iran, Russia, China, and Pakistan discussed Afghanistan during this meeting.

The Taliban announced shortly before the start of the meeting that they had been invited, but would not attend.

Zakir Jalali, an official from the Taliban's Foreign Ministry, wrote on X social media platform that the group had been invited to the meeting in Tehran concerning Afghanistan, but would not attend it.

He added that the Taliban "expects that meetings concerning Afghanistan should use usual and established mechanisms instead of forming new ones”.

Jalali noted that representatives from Russia, Iran, and China have referred to this meeting by different names.

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