KABUL: Pakistan will host direct talks between the Afghan government, Afghan Taliban and other insurgent groups in the war-torn country in the first week of March, said a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the fourth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group here on Tuesday.
“The QCG member states invite Taliban and other groups to participate through their authorised representatives in the first round of direct peace talks with the Afghan government,” added the joint statement.
“Pakistan has graciously offered to host this round of talks in Islamabad.” The statement said that the fifth round of the QCG meeting will take place in Islamabad immediately after the first round of direct peace talks.
The delegations were led by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing and US Charge d’Affaires, David Lindwall.
“The QCG members welcomed the statement by Ashraf Ghani on February 15 which underlined the Afghan government’s commitment for peace and reconciliation with Taliban groups and Hezbi Islami,” the statement read.
Members of the Group endorsed and expressed strong support for direct talks between the Government of Afghanistan and authorized representatives of the Taliban and other groups.
The QCG also welcomed the decision by Afghanistan and Pakistan to constitute a bilateral joint working group to work with the honorable Ulema of Afghanistan and Pakistan for their support to the Afghan led and Afghan owned peace and reconciliation process, including through Fatwas against the ongoing senseless violence, the statement said.