Kabul - The much-awaited face-to-face talks between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban will start within the next two weeks and will be held in a European nation, the Afghan State Minister for Peace Affairs, Abdul Salam Rahimi, said on Saturday.

The ministry has started consultations with different stakeholders on forming a 15-member negotiating team who will lead the peace talks with the Taliban, he said, reported Tolo News. Rahimi added that names of the members of the negotiating team have been listed and the list is about to be finalized.

Members of the team will include some delegates of the recent Doha meeting and also people with peace and negotiations background, he said, adding that members of the team will represent different layers of society including religious scholars, women and civil society members. The state minister said they are preparing for the trip of the negotiating team members.

Rahimi called on the warring sides to reduce level of violence ahead of the direct talks.