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Kabul Expects Timeline For Direct Talks With Taliban By Month End: MoFA

Afghanistan
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peace-talks-with-talibanThe Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Tuesday that they expect the timeline for direct peace talks with the Taliban to be set by the end of this month.


According to the ministry, they hope that the final date for direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban will be set during the fourth quadrilateral meeting between representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, U.S and China which is scheduled for February 23.
"The Quadrilateral Coordination Group [QCG] has started efforts to fix a date for direct talks with the Taliban and this date will be set at the fourth meeting among the four nations which will be held on 23 of this month in Kabul," said MoFA spokesman Shekib Mustaghni.
"We expect that the date for the [direct] talks [with Taliban] will be specified at end of this month," he added.
Meanwhile, European Union Special Envoy to Afghanistan Franz-Michael Mellbin said the Taliban should be encouraged to come to the table of negotiations and that Pakistan should be given an opportunity to show its sincerity in this regard.
"It would be difficult to have what I call negotiations or what you call negotiations, but I think there is a good chance to have talks. And talks is the necessary step that will eventually helpfully lead to negotiations,"
"I think what we all need to realize is peace will take time to develop in Afghanistan, so we need to take the first steps. Government is doing good work here. I think the quadrilateral group which is supporting, that is Pakistan China and the U.S, are also trying to support now,"
"Right now the Taliban still believes that they could gain more outside the negotiation table. What we need to do is collectively convince them that the negotiation table is where they should go. The Afghan nation needs peace. The Afghan people need peace," he added.