Iran hosts high-level Afghan peace talks as fighting surges

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has hosted the first significant talks in months between Taliban and Afghan government representatives. The surprise meeting on Wednesday comes as the U.S. completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan and districts fall to the Taliban across the country. The high-level peace talks between the warring sides follow months-old discussions in Qatar that have been stalled by a diplomatic stalemate and escalating violence. Even as officials faced each other across vast tables in Tehran and Iran’s top diplomat pledged to end the crisis, fighting surged in Afghanistan’s western Badghis province. Iran’s Foreign Minister addressed the delegates, saying Iran stood ready to help after the U.S. pullout.

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