Taliban fighters sit on a vehicle along the street in Jalalabad province, Afghanistan, on Aug. 15, 2021. (AFP)

October 20, 2021

Iran will host the foreign ministers from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries for a summit on Oct. 27, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters that the one-day meeting next week will bring together diplomats from Russia, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan — the six members of the so-called Moscow format talks on Afghanistan.

“An extensive plan has been arranged,” Khatibzadeh said, according to Tasnim news agency, adding that the meeting will “continue the negotiations that had been held virtually in the first round.”

“The six countries will be focused on how they can help form an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the presence of all ethnic groups, and how they can help shape a future of peace and security in Afghanistan,” he added.

According to Russia’s Tass news agency, Khatibzadeh also confirmed Iran’s participation in the Oct. 21 meeting in Moscow between a Taliban delegation and members of the Moscow format talks.

Following the Taliban takeover in August, the Shiite Islamic Republic pledged to work with Afghanistan’s new Sunni extremist leaders, despite their historically rocky relationship. Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi has since described the United States’ “military defeat” in Afghanistan as an opportunity for peace.

Iran shares a 572-mile border with Afghanistan, and according to the United Nations’ refugee agency, hosts some 3 million Afghans who fled their country’s war.

Afghanistan is also one of Iran’s top export markets. Earlier this month, the Taliban met with Iranian officials to discuss boosting trade, including along the Islam Qala border crossing captured by the Taliban in July.

On Sunday, Raisi appointed Hassan Kazemi Qomi as Iran’s special representative to Afghanistan. Qomi previously served as Iran’s ambassador to Iraq and as a Quds Force operative.

Al-Monitor

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.