Diplomats from four countries that are trying to broker an end to Afghanistan's war against the Taliban say they hope they will be able on February 23 to set a date for a face-to-face between the Taliban and negotiators from Kabul.
The representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the United States are meeting in Kabul on February 23 for the fourth round of discussions aimed at setting conditions for eventual peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.
Javid Faisal, the deputy spokesman for Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, said the delegates announced "a date for the first direct peace talks" before the end of February.
At their last meeting, which was in Islamabad on February 6, the delegates agreed to work toward bringing the Taliban together with Kabul negotiators before the end of February in order to restart a peace process.
That peace process was derailed after an initial meeting in the summer of 2015 by the revelation that the Taliban's founder and spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, had been dead for more than two years.