Iran’s Foreign Ministry has urged all warring sides in Afghanistan to end the conflict and fratricide and settle their disputes through negotiations, expressing the country’s readiness to continue facilitating and hosting intra-Afghan talks.
The ministry issued a statement on Saturday on the eve of the martyrdom anniversary of Iranian diplomats and a journalist in a terrorist attack at the Iranian consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998 in violation of all recognized international treaties and regulations.
In July, Tehran hosted intra-Afghan talks between senior Taliban negotiators led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the head of Taliban’s political office in Qatar’s Doha, and officials from the Afghan government headed by former Vice President of Afghanistan Yunus Qanuni.
Opening the talks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic stands ready to help the neighboring country resolve its conflicts and achieve lasting peace.
According to the Foreign Ministry’s statement, deep-rooted and genuine bonds between the Iran and Afghan nations leave no choice but to “adopt constructive approaches that serve the interests of the two countries.”
It noted that the Iranian nation and government stand by the Afghan people as in the past and would support any solution that will help Afghanistan end more than four decades of a devastating war and protect the nation’s achievements.
The ministry once again strongly condemned the terrorist attack and commemorated its victims and said it would continue to follow up on the case to shed light on the hidden aspects of it as a “definite demand of the Iranian government and people.”
August 8 has been designated National Journalists’ Day in Iran after Taliban militants in Afghanistan killed Mahmoud Saremi, the correspondent of the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), along with eight Iranian diplomats, at the Iranian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998.