The following is the press release which was issued after the meeting had been conducted in Islamabad. Pakistan was represented by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in the meeting. It was also stressed during the meeting that there should be dialogue between representatives of the Afghan government and Taliban, to bring about peace in the country.
The first meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China on Afghan peace and reconciliation process was held in Islamabad on 11 January 2016. The delegations were led by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard G. Olson and China’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Ambassador Deng Xijun.
The Group reiterated the commitment of their countries to the realization of objectives expressed in their statement from the quadrilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad on 9 December 2015. 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.
All four countries underscored the importance of bringing an end to the conflict in Afghanistan that continues to inflict senseless violence on the Afghan people and also breeds insecurity throughoutthe region. The participants emphasized the immediate need for direct talks between representatives of the Government of Afghanistan and representatives from Taliban groups in a peace process that aims to preserve Afghanistan’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
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 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 group would hold discussions on a roadmap at its next meeting to be held on 18th January 2016 in Kabul.