Iran’s envoy Qomi advocates ‘regional contact group’ to aid Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan — Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Iran’s special envoy and ambassador to Afghanistan, reiterated the importance of forming a “regional contact group” for cooperation with the Taliban.

Speaking at an event marking the 45th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Qomi highlighted that this group would assist the Taliban in achieving stability and economic development, and facilitate engagement.

He recalled a previous meeting of the “regional contact group,” noting its similar objectives.

Qomi’s comments come as a key summit of special envoys on Afghanistan, convened by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, is scheduled for Feb. 18-19 in Doha, where the Taliban are reportedly invited.

Iran, one of the few countries to maintain its embassy in Afghanistan after the fall of the republic, has seen strained relations with the Taliban, particularly over water rights from the Helmand River.