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Face to face talks with Taliban to begin this month: MFA expects

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Foreign ministry said Sunday that the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) had agreed to continue efforts to specify the exact date for a face to face talk with the Taliban.

The quadrilateral coordination group consists of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States. The group has held three meetings since January to find a so-called roadmap for a direct talk between Kabul and Taliban.

The third meeting was held Saturday in Pakistan.

Ahmad Shekib Mostaghni, spokesman for ministry of foreign affairs told newsmen that the efforts for persuading Taliban for negotiations began in Islamabad meeting.

“Delegations of the four countries agreed to continue joint endeavors to determine an exact date for the face to face talks,” Mostaghni said.

“The face to face talks are expected to begin at the end of February.”

He said that the group agreed to keep meeting to reach the talks, adding that the fourth session would be held on February 23th in Kabul.

“Afghanistan and Pakistan vowed to jointly struggle those Taliban insurgents who refuse peace demands,” the foreign ministry spokesman said.

“Kabul and Islamabad would use all possible options against insurgents who prefer conflict. And the QCG other member countries also announced to fight against these Taliban.”

Taliban were divided in two parts in July after it was announced that the group’s founder and leader Mullah Omar had died two years ago. They do not have a single view on the peace process.

Emerging of Islamic State is figured as another threat for Afghan government.

Political analysts believe that the formation of the Islamic State would menace the QCG’s efforts.

“Taliban have accelerated attacks against the security forces since the efforts have begun,” said Jamal Katawazi.

“Fighting seriously continues in various parts and Taliban have not showed any green signal yet to the government,” he said.

He urged the government to pressure Taliban militarily.

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