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Joint Press Release: The Third Meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China

(2016-02-06) The third meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China on the Afghan Peace and Reconciliation process was held in Islamabad on 6 February 2016. Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry hosted the meeting. Other delegations were led by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard G. Olson and China's Special Envoy for Afghanistan Ambassador Deng Xijun.

Building on the progress made in the last two meetings, the Group explored ways for holding early direct peace talks between the authorized representatives of the Afghan Government and Taliban groups. In this regard, the Group also adopted a roadmap stipulating the stages and steps in the process.

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.

Towards this end, the QCG countries agreed to continue joint efforts for setting a date for direct peace talks between the representatives of the Afghan government and Taliban groups expected to take place by the end of February 2016. The QCG members called on all Taliban groups to join the peace talks.

The QCG agreed to continue regular meetings to ensure a smooth way forward in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. The group agreed to hold its next meeting in Kabul on 23 February 2016.

Islamabad,
6 February 2016