The meeting, attended by representatives from Afghanistan, China, the U.S and Pakistan, was convened to map out the way forward with regards to the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.
According to Foreign Affairs, the group will hold its next meeting on Monday, January 18, in Kabul, Tolo News writes.
Monday’s delegations were led by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aziz Ahmad Chaudhry, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard G. Olson and China’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Ambassador Deng Xijun.
The statement reads “The group reiterated the commitment of their countries to the realization of objectives expressed in their statement from the quadrilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad on 9 December 2015.”
“Building on the outcome of December 9 trilateral and quadrilateral meetings, they considered mutual efforts to facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process with a view to achieving lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.”
The statement made clear that all four countries underscored the importance of bringing an end to the conflict in Afghanistan that continues to inflict senseless violence on the Afghan people and also breeds insecurity throughout the region.
“The participants emphasized the immediate need for direct talks between representatives of the Government of Afghanistan and representatives from Taliban groups in a peace process that aims to preserve Afghanistan’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” read the statement.
It stated that the discussions focused on undertaking a clear and realistic assessment of the opportunities for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, anticipated obstacles and measures that would help create conducive environment for commencement of peace talks, with the shared goal of reducing violence and establishing lasting peace in Afghanistan.
“The meeting adopted terms for the work of the QCG and agreed to continue regular meetings to advance the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan,” the statement read.
This comes just hours after Sayed Zafar Hashemi, deputy spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, said government has made it clear that all groups should attend the planned peace talks without any preconditions.
This was in reaction to the Pakistani adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz’s statement earlier in the day that a number of elements would help achieve a meaningful outcome, including the avoidance of setting preconditions ahead of the negotiation process with the Taliban.
Hashemi said “The Afghan government as a legal and elected institution is required to implement Afghanistan’s constitution and all our steps, including the peace process, should be in accordance with the constitution.”
He said that government had made it clear that no group should set preconditions for attending the talks.
According to him, peace could not come to Afghanistan without having certain plans in place. “Distinction between those who are ready to negotiate and those who are not ready should be made,” he added.
Ustad Sayaf, a Jihadi leader, meanwhile said that they welcome peace talks only if they are transparent, that the nation is kept in the loop of all processes, that an end is put to the war, ensure the sovereignty of Afghanistan and maintain dignity of Afghans.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said that China was ready to work with all sides of the quadrilateral talks to facilitate the advancement of Afghan peace talks. However, he stressed that Afghanistan’s sovereignty should be respected.