Pak to host Afghan talks in March

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Observer Report

Islamabad—Pakistan will host direct talks between the government in Kabul and Afghan Taliban, including other insurgent groups, in the first week of March, said a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the fourth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group in Kabul 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 statement. The communique said, “Pakistan has graciously offered to host this round of talks in Islamabad.”
The delegations were led by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Pakistan’s 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 Hezb-e-Islami,” the statement read.
The member states also appreciated the decision by Afghanistan and Pakistan to constitute a bilateral joint working group to work with the honourable ulema of Afghanistan and Pakistan for their support to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.
Towards this end and also in line with the desire and support of the QCG member countries for lasting peace in Afghanistan, the QCG endorsed and expressed strong support for the upcoming direct talks between the Government of Afghanistan and authorized representatives of the Taliban and other groups.
The QCG agreed to continue joint endeavours as part of their shared commitments to advance the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

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