Afghanistan meeting ends with call for talks with Taliban

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Four-nation talks aimed at ending Afghanistan’s 15-year war concluded with a call for direct talks between the government and the Taliban by the end of February.

A statement released at the end of the meeting in Islamabad on Saturday, which was attended by representatives of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States, said a roadmap for peace had been agreed upon but provided no further details.

The statement urged the Taliban, who were not present at the meeting, to join the peace process. All four countries agreed to hold a fourth meeting in Kabul on Feb. 23.

The last direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban broke down after just one round last year following the announcement of the death of longtime Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

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