Iran’s foreign ministry has expressed concern about “terrorism, violence and extremism in Afghanistan”, one day ahead of a regional meeting in Tehran.

Saeed Khatibzadeh on Tuesday told reporters that foreign ministers of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan will attend the Wednesday conference of Afghanistan’s neighbors, while China and Russia will take part via video link. The Taliban have not been invited to the meeting.

The spokesman added that Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi is scheduled to address the conference and a letter from the United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres will be read.

Regarding the absence of the Taliban, Khatibzadeh said that there were many requests from Afghanistan and elsewhere for participation and this will be decided in the next meeting, which will probably take place in Beijing.

Regarding the agenda of the meeting Khatibzadeh told reporters that a unified message should be sent to “inside Afghanistan” that the country cannot be a “place for violence and terror”.

After two major bomb attacks against Afghanistan’s Shiites, Iran has asked the Taliban to protect civilians and strive for including others in the government.

“A peaceful and stable Afghanistan is a partner in regional cooperation. The people of Afghanistan will accept a government that reflects their will,” he said.

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