Iran, Taliban plan regional summit for Afghanistan

KABUL — The Taliban’s foreign ministry has announced plans for a regional summit on Afghanistan in Kabul after discussions with Iranian Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi.

Acting Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi proposed the summit during a meeting with Ambassador Qomi, and the Iranian diplomat accepted the proposal.

The Taliban’s foreign ministry spokesperson stated that both sides reached a consensus on hosting a meeting with special representatives from regional countries. Simultaneously, the Iranian Embassy clarified that the Taliban’s foreign minister expressed readiness to host a joint meeting of special representatives from regional countries in Kabul.

“The request of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) to host a regional meeting in Kabul faces a recognition issue before anything. Meanwhile, even if held, it cannot provide a suitable solution for the Afghanistan problem,” said Abdul Hamid Mahmoudi, a university lecturer and international relations analyst.

The Taliban did not provide further details regarding the timing and participating countries.

The Taliban’s foreign ministry also mentioned that Qomi, Tehran’s envoy for Afghanistan, expressed Tehran’s opposition to the selection of a United Nations special envoy for Afghanistan, as proposed by UN Special Envoy Feridun Sinirlioğlu’s assessment report.

“Holding a regional meeting with the support of Iran can help address security concerns, including combating the presence of Daesh in Iran,” said Ramazan Ali Fasahat, a university lecturer.

Many international relations experts suggest that the shared threat of ISIS has led to increased cooperation between Iran and the Taliban.

“Obviously, the threat posed to countries by Daesh has pushed countries to think about joint efforts,” said Omid Maisam, an international relations researcher.

Iran has consistently advocated for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, a recommendation met with sharp responses from the Taliban.