ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The next meeting of the Quadrilateral Contact Group (QCG) to coordinate joint efforts for facilitating the Afghan reconciliation process will be held in Kabul on February 23.
The decision to this effect was taken in the third meeting of the group of Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United States and China on Afghan peace process held in Islamabad on Saturday.
During the meeting, the QCG adopted a roadmap stipulating the stages and steps in the Afghan peace process.
The group agreed to hold its next meeting in Kabul on February 23 and also called on all Taliban groups to join the peace talks.
It was agreed that joint efforts would be continued for setting a date for direct peace talks between the representatives of the Afghan government and Taliban groups.
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.
Meanwhile, the reports said that the Taliban would participate in the fourth CGQ meeting in Kabul as an observer as their representatives would lack the power of decision making and giving any statement.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in his opening remark at the meeting said that as many Taliban groups as possible must be persuaded to join any upcoming peace discussions with the Afghan government.
The adviser said that a joint effort would help persuade the Taliban to join the process and lead to a significant reduction in violence.
“We believe our collective efforts at this stage, including through supportive CBMs (Confidence Building Measures), have to be aimed at persuading the maximum number of Taliban groups to join the peace talks,” he said.