Joint Press Release of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group on Afghan Peace and Reconciliation (January 11, 2016)

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 11, 2016

The following statement was released by the Governments of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and the United States of America on the occasion of the first meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) in Islamabad, Pakistan.

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The first meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States 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 Aziz 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 throughout the 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, and anticipated obstacles and measures that would help create a conducive environment for commencement of peace talks with the shared goal of reducing violence and establishing lasting peace in Afghanistan.

The meeting adopted terms for the work of the QCG and agreed to continue regular meetings to advance the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.  The group would hold discussion on a roadmap at its next meeting to be held on 18 January 2016 in Kabul.