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Sustainable Peace Achievable Only Through Intra-Afghan Dialogue

On the US-Taliban deal, the Foreign Ministry said America has no legal grounds to sign a peace deal or decide about the future of Afghanistan, stressing that the UN has the appropriate capacity to facilitate intra-Afghan negotiations
Sustainable Peace Achievable Only Through Intra-Afghan Dialogue Sustainable Peace Achievable Only Through Intra-Afghan Dialogue

Iran welcomes any initiative to help improve security conditions in Afghanistan, but maintains that only intra-Afghan talks can guarantee lasting peace in the war-torn country, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 
“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that a sustainable peace agreement in Afghanistan can only be concluded through intra-afghan talks with the cooperation of political groups in this country, including the Taliban, and taking into account the reservations of neighboring countries,” it was cited as saying by ISNA. 
The statement was issued on Sunday after the United States signed a deal with Taliban insurgents on Saturday, which could pave the way toward a full withdrawal of foreign soldiers from Afghanistan and end the 18-year war in the South Asian country. 
The deal was signed in the Qatari capital Doha by US special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Taliban political chief, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
The United States said it is committed to reducing the number of its troops in Afghanistan to 8,600, from the current 13,000, within 135 days of signing the deal, and working with its allies to proportionally reduce the number of coalition forces in Afghanistan over this period, if the Taliban adhere to their commitments, Reuters reported. 
A full withdrawal of all US and coalition forces would occur within 14 months of the deal, if the Taliban hold up their end of the deal, the joint statement said.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry stressed that the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan is “illegal” and one of the main causes of war and insecurity in this country. 
“The withdrawal of foreign forces form Afghanistan is essential to achieving peace and security in this country and any measure paving the way for their exit would help restore peace in this country,” it said. 
It noted, however, that Iran is against the US moves and sees them as an attempt to legitimize the presence of their forces in Afghanistan.
 

 

No Legal Ground 

America has no legal grounds to sign a peace deal or decide about the future of Afghanistan, the statement said, adding that in Iran’s view, the United Nations has the appropriate capacity to facilitate intra-Afghan negotiations and oversee the implementation of agreements reached. 
The ministry also declared that Iran would support any peace effort “owned and run by Afghans”.
“While respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, Iran is ready to provide any help in line with its own national security strategy toward establishing peace, stability and security in Afghanistan,” the Foreign Ministry said, hoping that a government would take power in Kabul, which could foster friendly relations with its neighbors and eradicate terrorism. 
Negotiators of the Doha deal would now have to work out an agreement for a comprehensive ceasefire and the future governance of Afghanistan.
Officials and experts say this will pose serious challenges, as the Afghan government has until now been sidelined.
Even before sitting down for talks with the Taliban, Afghanistan’s two main political rivals—President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah—must settle a dispute over which officials, opposition members and activists should negotiate with the insurgents.  
Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib has said the deal lacked clarity about the Taliban’s ties with Pakistan.
There are also questions about whether Taliban fighters loyal to hardline splinter groups will be willing to adhere to the reduction in violence agreement.

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