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Iran criticizes US-Taliban talks

25 Apr 2019 1TV News

2019-04-25 | 17 minute ago

Iran on Wednesday criticized US talks with the Taliban, suggesting Washington was elevating the role of the militants.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif admitted that Iran had also opened dialogue with the Taliban but said that the US push for a deal with the group was “seriously wrong.”

"An attempt to exclude everybody and just talk to the Taliban has alienated the government, has alienated the region, has alienated everybody else and it achieved nothing, as you've seen from the statement that came from the Taliban," Zarif said, apparently referring to the Taliban's announcement of a new spring offensive.

"I was the first to say that in any peace in Afghanistan, the Taliban cannot be set aside or isolated," Zarif said speaking at the Asia Society in New York, which he was visiting to take part in a UN session.

"But you cannot negotiate the future of Afghanistan with the Taliban. The Taliban only represent a segment of Afghan society, not all of it," he said.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has held at least five rounds of peace talks with the Taliban.

The group, however, has yet to enter into negotiations with the Afghan government.

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