Iran hosts Taliban to discuss Afghan peace process

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state TV says a delegation of the Taliban visited Tehran and discussed efforts to bring a negotiated end to Afghanistan’s 18-year war.

Wednesday’s report said Taliban politburo chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar met with Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. It said they discussed Tehran’s readiness to help facilitate intra-Afghan dialogue.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen tweeted that the meeting took place Tuesday.

While rare, these are not the first talks between the Taliban and Iranian officials.

U.S.-Taliban peace talks collapsed in September. In the following weeks, a Taliban delegation traveled to Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan.

Last Tuesday, the Taliban freed an American and an Australian held hostage since 2016 in exchange for three top Taliban figures. The insurgent group said the swap could help rekindle peace negotiations.

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