KABUL: Afghanistan will host a meeting with officials from Pakistan, the United States and China next week to prepare the way for possible peace talks with the Taliban, an official at the Afghan president's office said on Tuesday.

The preliminary meeting follows moves to try to revive the stalled peace process, which broke down in July after the news was announced of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar more than two years earlier.

"We expect that every country will play its part in ensuring the peace process in Afghanistan moves ahead," the official said.

The decision to hold the first round of preparatory meetings in Kabul follows Sunday's visit to Afghanistan by the powerful head of the Pakistani army, General Raheel Sharif, who met President Ashraf Ghani to discuss the talks.

The United States and China, which is planning to invest billions in Pakistan, have both pushed strongly for peace talks involving Pakistan, accused by many in Afghanistan of harbouring Taliban leaders and sponsoring the insurgency.

Pakistan rejects the accusation and says it has also suffered heavily from terrorism. On Tuesday, at least 23 people were killed and 75 wounded when a suicide bomber attacked a government office in northwestern Pakistan.

The Taliban, which has grown in strength this year following the withdrawal of most foreign troops, has so far ruled out taking part in any talks as long as foreign troops remain in Afghanistan.

But the movement has splintered into rival factions since the death of Mullah Omar was announced, with many rejecting the authority of the new leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour.

Following Sharif's visit to Kabul, Afghanistan and Pakistan said they were aiming to continue the peace process with groups of the Taliban that were ready for negotiation and reconciliation.