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Taliban talks set up in bid to end Afghan war

Four-nation talks in Pakistan aimed at ending Afghanistan's 15-year war have 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 US, 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 February 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 long-time Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

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