Kabul, Taliban to Resume Peace Talks After Ramadan

Kabul, Taliban to Resume Peace Talks After RamadanKabul, Taliban to Resume Peace Talks After Ramadan

One-day peace talks between Afghan officials and Taliban representatives ended with both sides agreeing to meet again after the holy month of Ramadan, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry said in a statement the talks were held Tuesday at Murree, a hilly resort near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Representatives of China and the United States were also present during the meeting, AP reported.

Participants exchanged views on ways to bring peace and reconciliation to Afghanistan, where fighting has continued since the Taliban was removed from power by US-led forces in 2001.

Since taking office in September, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has made it a priority to find a peace settlement.

Both sides “expressed their collective desire to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region,” the ministry statement said. “Participants recognized the need to develop confidence-building measures to engender trust among all stakeholders.”

The next meeting would be held at a mutually convenient date after Ramadan ends later this month, it said.

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the peace talks in a statement. “We believe that if there is a good and strong intention in the peace process, there will be good results.”

Tuesday’s talks came after repeated informal meetings between Taliban and government representatives, most recently hosted by Qatar and Norway.