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Afghan, Taliban Peace Talks Expected By 1st Week Of March

A four-nation group says direct peace talks between the Taliban and negotiators from Kabul are expected to begin in Islamabad by the first week of March.

The so-called Quadrilateral Coordination Group, made up of officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the United States made the announcement after meeting in Kabul on February 23.

The February 23 meeting was the fourth in a series of quadrilateral encounters aimed at setting conditions for eventual peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.

The Taliban have not yet clearly indicated whether it will take part in any talks with the Western-backed government in Kabul.

The peace process was derailed after an initial meeting in the summer of 2015 by the revelation that the Taliban’s founder and spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, had been dead for more than two years.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa