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Iran open to multilateral talks on Afghanistan: official

world Updated: Mar 13, 2009 07:33 IST

AFP
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Visiting Iranian Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie said his government welcomes multilateral talks with the United States and its allies on Afghanistan.

But, he added, Tehran has yet to receive an official invitation from the US administration or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"We have received some news about Mrs Clinton's overtures, but we have not received an official invitation to any summit," he said through an interpreter during an unofficial visit to Canada.

"I would like to add that any talks related to Afghanistan are important and we welcome them," he said. "This is positive -- any talks on Afghanistan, especially bilateral or multilateral talks on this issue."

Clinton said last week that Iran would be invited to a high-level conference on Afghanistan next month, should the event go ahead.

Before agreeing to attend, however, Mashaie said Tehran would like to know more about the summit agenda.

He commented that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force's results in trying to secure Afghanistan "have not been very favourable," adding that its security is of concern to its neighbors, especially to Iran.