Islamabad:  Pakistani officials have said that Afghan and Taliban representatives had agreed to meet again, after landmark through-the-night talks aimed at ending the militants' 13-year insurgency.

A delegation of the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC), the body tasked with opening negotiations, met the Taliban in the town of Murree, the Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement. Few details were released about what was discussed, but a foreign ministry spokesman said the talks lasted through the night, concluding at sehri."The participants exchanged views on ways and means to bring peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan," the statement said. The two sides had agreed to approach the talks with "sincerity and full commitment.” The participants agreed to continue talks to create an environment conducive for the peace and reconciliation process.

The next round of talks will be held at a "mutually convenient date" after Ramadan, which is due to end on July 18.

The representatives of China and the USA also participated in the meeting. The participants were duly mandated by their respective leadership and expressed their collective desire, to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region. The participants recognized the need to develop confidence building measures, to engender trust among all stakeholders.

The statement expressed Pakistan‘s profound gratitude to the Government of Afghanistan and Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan, for their willingness to work towards bringing lasting peace in Afghanistan. We also thank other partners in peace, including the United Nations, for their contribution to peace, stability and development of Afghanistan.

Several informal meetings have been held in recent months, between Taliban representatives and Afghan officials and activists. But the talks in Pakistan, led on the HPC side by deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, are seen as a significant step.

It is the first time Kabul has publicly acknowledged that someone as senior as a government minister was talking directly to the Taliban, though some earlier meetings were shrouded in secrecy, so it was not entirely clear who took part.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Tuesday night called the holding of the talks “a major breakthrough” in comments recorded for Pakistani TV from the Norwegian capital Oslo, where he is on a three-day visit.

He said the overtness of the meeting was a positive development. “I hope there will be a positive outcome which will certainly be very helpful for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s office announced Tuesday that a delegation from the government’s High Peace Council traveled to Islamabad to hold the talks. Afghan government and Taliban representatives have held talks in an attempt to work toward a peace process for the war-torn nation, according to Pakistan, which hosted the meeting.