The participants of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meeting issued a joint statement following the conclusion of the fourth round of the meeting in Kabul today.
“The QCG member states invite all Taliban and other groups to participate through their authorized representatives in the first round of direct peace talks with the Afghan government expected to take place by the first week of March 2016,” the statement said.
Pakistan has graciously offered to host the first round of direct peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban groups, the statement said, adding 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, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing and U.S. Charge d’Affaires, David Lindwall. According to Khaama press.
The statement also added that the “QCG members welcomed the strong statement by H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, on 15 February in which he once again underlined the strong commitment of the Government of Afghanistan for peace and reconciliation with Taliban groups and Hezbi Islami Hekmatyar, the support of the Afghan nation for this national priority and his call on the Taliban and other groups to join early direct talks with the Government of Afghanistan.”
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.