Taliban hold talks with National Resistance Front in Iran


KABUL: Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers held talks over the weekend with senior leaders of an anti-Taliban alliance, the Taliban said on Monday. The meeting, held in Tehran, was the first of its kind, underscoring the Taliban efforts to bring their former opponents into the fold.

During the meeting, the alliance leaders were told that they could return to Afghanistan and were promised their safety would be guaranteed, Taliban-appointed foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said in a short video released on Monday.

The alliance, known as the National Resistance Front, is led by Ahmed Massoud, the son of the anti-Taliban fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated in 2001.

The Sunday’s meeting in Tehran is one of the first signs of rapprochement between the Taliban and their opponents. Several prominent leaders of previous US-backed Afghan governments, including former president Hamid Karzai and the ex-head of the National Reconciliation Council, Abdullah Abdullah, remained in Kabul following the Taliban takeover.

“The Islamic Emirate is trying to ensure that the future of the country is secure for all and that there would be no reason for opposition,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy Taliban spokesman.



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