Abdullah meets with Iran’s FM, discusses Afghan peace process

Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah met Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday to discuss the latest developments around the Afghan peace process.

Abdullah arrived in Tehran early Sunday for an official two-day visit as part of his schedule to meet with neighboring and regional countries in a bid to garner support from them for the peace initiative.

In a tweet following his meeting with Zarif, Abdullah said: “A pleasure to meet again with HE Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We exchanged views on the Afghan Peace Process, intra-Afghan talks in Doha & bilateral issues of interest.”

“Stressing on brotherly bonds between our two countries, I thanked the government of Iran for the invitation, its continued principled position on Afghan peace efforts & reiterated that peace & stability in Afghanistan amounts to peace & stability in the region and beyond,” he tweeted.

“While welcoming our delegation, HE FM Zarif assured us of Iran’s continued support for the Afghan Peace Process. He emphasized on a process that assures Afghan ownership & aims for stability & an inclusive outcome,” Abdullah stated.

After his meeting with Zarif, Abdullah then met with Iran’s speaker of parliament, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. “We discussed the Afghan Peace Process, & developments in Doha talks. Ghalibaf assured us of Majlis’s (parliament) support for a lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

Abdullah’s visit to Iran comes just days after the United States’ peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said during a webinar that in terms of Afghanistan’s peace process, “there are two Irans; the foreign ministry Iran which says positive things and makes statements that could be construed as supporting the peace process,” but then there is the other Iran that would like to “keep the US entangled in a war.”

Iran “appears to want the war to go on rather than for the peace process to succeed,” he said adding that “we would like Iran … to participate in the regional efforts in support of peace.”

During Sunday’s meeting in Tehran, Zarif reiterated Iran’s support for the Afghan government and the peace process

Abdullah is also expected to meet with President Hassan Rouhani during his visit.