Kabul, July 7 (EFE).- A Taliban delegation is in Iran for talks with Afghan politicians amid stalled peace negotiations between the insurgents and the government.
Taliban political spokesperson Naeem Wardak told EFE from Qatar that a team of negotiators led by Shir Muhammad Abbas Stanekzai has already left for Iran “on an official invitation” from Tehran.
He said the Taliban team would talks to Iranian officials on “bilateral and issues of mutual interests.”
The Taliban delegation will meet Afghan government negotiators on Wednesday.
The government representatives include senior peace adviser to President Ashraf Ghani Salam Rahimi and former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanuni.
The two sides would deliberate on “the current situation of the country and how to solve the problems through negotiations,” Wardak said.
The meeting comes amid global efforts to resume the stalled intra-Afghan talks that began in Doha last September.
Violence spiked in the war-ravaged country as the Taliban made swift territorial gains since May 1, when the American and international forces began withdrawing from Afghanistan.
The Afghan government Tuesday confirmed that the insurgents had captured more than 100 of the country’s 400 districts, which it blamed on a lack of military support to the Afghan forces after the pullout of international troops.
“The Taliban’s territorial gains are due to several reasons… mainly as a result of the retreat (of foreign forces) as some of our own resources were not enough,” Hamdullah Mohib, National Security Advisor of the country, told reporters.
The United States and NATO troops began the final stages of withdrawal more than two months ago, ending a 20-year mission and handing over nearly all military bases to the Afghan army.
On Friday, US troops left the Bagram airbase, which had been their main operation center over the past two decades.
The insurgents besieged the Afghan security forces in their checkpoints, “may have abandoned their posts because they ran out of ammunition, they ran out of supplies, and therefore they were no longer able to fight,” Mohib said. EFE