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Taliban holds talks in Tehran on ending Afghan War

Taliban insurgents turn themselves in to Afghan forces, 2010. (Resolute Support Media/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran says a Taliban delegation has made a rare visit to Tehran for talks with a senior Iranian official on efforts to end Afghanistan’s 17-year-long war.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on December 31 that the Taliban delegation arrived on December 30 and met with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi.

Qassemi said talks focused on “security issues aimed at driving the peace process in Afghanistan.” He said Kabul was informed about the meeting.

It was not the first such meeting between the Taliban and Iranian officials.

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Ali Shamkhani of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council confirmed last week in Kabul that such talks have taken place in the past and would continue.

The Taliban have recently held talks in several regional countries amid Washington’s plans to withdraw up to half the 14,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.