Direct talks date with Taliban likely to be finalized by February end


The direct talks date between the Afghan government and Taliban group representatives is expected to be ascertained by the end of this month.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the participants of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) agreed to continue joint efforts for setting a date for direct peace talks between the representatives of the Afghan government and Taliban groups which is expected to be ascertained by the end of February 2016.

A statement by MoFA said the group adopted a roadmap stipulating the stages and steps in the process which followed by progress made during the first and second round of talks.

“The Group stressed that the outcome of the reconciliation process should be a political settlement that results in the cessation of violence, and durable peace in Afghanistan,” the statement added.

The third round of QCG meeting was hosted by Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry which was attended by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard G. Olson and China’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Ambassador Deng Xijun.

The Afghan and Pakistani leaders agreed to revive the stalled Afghan peace talks during a meeting on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad last year.

Pakistan hosted the first round of direct peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban group earlier in July last year. However, the peace talks were suspended due confirmation of Mullah Omar’s death that led to widening rift among the Taliban leadership.-KP

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