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Iran holds summit with Afghanistan's neighbours on inclusive government

  • 27 Oct 2021

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the conference that Afghanistan's Taliban is eager to have dialogue with the international community.

The Taliban took Afghanistan's capital on August 15, exploiting a vacuum caused by the withdrawal of US troops. ( AP )

Iran is hosting a one-day conference on Afghanistan, with the attendance of foreign ministers and representatives from Afghanistan's neighbouring countries including Russia and China. 

The main agenda of the conference on Wednesday seeks to help form an inclusive government with participation of all ethnicities and groups and highlight rejection of foreign interference in Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan's Taliban is eager to have dialogue with the international community, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the conference. 

"The Taliban is eager to have dialogue with the world ... China will host the third Neighbours of Afghanistan meeting at the appropriate time," Wang said in a pre-recorded message broadcast live by Iranian state TV.

The Chinese foreign minister also urged the international community to help Afghanistan's development. 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is expected to inaugurate the conference which will be attended by top diplomats from Pakistan, Tajikistan Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan who arrived in Tehran on Tuesday. 

Russia's foreign ministers will also address the conference virtually while their special representatives will attend the conference in-person, according to Tehran Times, citing Saeed Khatibzadeh, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also issue a message to the conference.

No representatives from Taliban, however, will be present in the conference. 

READ MORE: Pakistan begins talks with Taliban over 'inclusive' Afghan government

The summit marks a second round of a similar virtual conference held in September. Pakistan hosted the previous conference where participants called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan as well as reiterating respect for Afghanistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

The Taliban took Afghanistan's capital on August 15, exploiting a vacuum caused by the withdrawal of US troops from the country and a collapse by the Afghan army.

Tensions between Iran and the Taliban harken back to when the latter was in power in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. Tehran never recognised their rule.

The Taliban was toppled in a US-led invasion over their links to Al Qaeda, which carried out the 9/11 attacks.

READ MORE: After a short honeymoon, are Iran-Taliban relations deteriorating?

READ MORE: Pakistan says Taliban 'best' to defeat Daesh as Italy hosts Afghan summit

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