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US, China, Pakistan push for direct talks with Afghan government and Taliban The group would hold discussions on a roadmap at its next meeting to be held on 18th January 2016 in Kabul," it said. The group was set up last year to facilitate the reconciliation process in the war-torn country. The talks came as Taliban waged an unprecedented winter campaign of violence A four-nation group involving the US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China has pushed for immediate direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to end the conflict in the war-torn country. The discussions focused on undertaking a clear and realistic assessment of the opportunities for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, anticipated obstacles and measures that would help create conducive environment for peace talks with the shared goal of reducing violence and establishing lasting peace in Afghanistan, the statement said. Building on the outcome of December 9 trilateral and quadrilateral meetings, they considered mutual efforts to facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process with a view to achieving lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region," it added. The first round of talks was held in July but the process was suspended in the same month after news of Taliban chief Mullah Omar's death was announced. Officials from Pakistan, China and US were present when Taliban leaders and the Afghan government met in Murree near here during the first round. According to officials, the second round may take place towards the end of January if the four nations agreed on the minimum agenda of talks. he meeting adopted the terms for the work of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group and agreed to continue regular meetings to advance the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. The participants reiterated the commitment of their countries to the realisation of objectives expressed in their statement from the quadrilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Conference here on December 9, 2015.

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