Powers aim to draw Taliban into Afghan peace talks

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KABUL: Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States hold talks on Monday aimed at laying the ground for a negotiated end to almost 15 years of war between US-supported government forces and Taliban insurgents now firmly on the offensive.

Taliban forces have stepped up their campaign in the last year to topple the Kabul government, which has struggled since most foreign troops left at the end of 2014. High-profile suicide attacks and Taliban territorial gains in Helmand province have underlined how far Afghanistan remains from peace.