The fourth 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 Kabul on February 23, 2016. 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.
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.
Taking note of the joint statement of February 06, 2016 and building on the outcome of the previous meetings of the QCG, the group reviewed progress in the implementation of the Roadmap for the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. Towards this end and also in line with the desire and support of the QCG member countries for lasting peace in Afghanistan, the QCG endorsed and expressed strong support for the upcoming direct talks between the Government of Afghanistan and authorized representatives of the Taliban and other groups.
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. Pakistan has graciously offered to host this round of talks in Islamabad.
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 QCG agreed to continue joint endeavors as part of their shared commitments to advance the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. The next QCG meeting will take place in Islamabad immediately after the first direct peace talks.