KABUL – Recent meetings between Taliban representatives and the Afghan government have focused on establishing a site for more formal negotiations on the war, as well as guarantees of safe passage for participants, according to the head of Afghanistan’s new peace council.

In an interview Friday, Burhanuddin Rabbani, the former Afghan president chosen to chair the committee to foster peace talks, said the Taliban members who have met with Afghan officials wanted to discuss the logistics of where to convene further and how they could do so without being captured.

Rabbani said a government official had told him the Taliban representatives offered to provide security if the talks were to be on their turf — presumably Pakistan — and asked for security if meetings were in Kabul or a third country.

“I think this is one of the best opportunities we have had for talks,” Rabbani said.

Although there has been some contact between Afghan officials and the Taliban for years, persistent reports of recent behind-the-scenes meetings suggest that the prospect for more serious negotiations is growing.

The details of the Afghan government’s communications with the Taliban remain largely secret. But a senior NATO official said this week that the U.S.-led alliance has helped Taliban leaders travel to Kabul to meet with the Afghan government.

Rabbani, who would not identify which insurgents are taking part in those meetings, described the discussions as in their earliest stages, as have other U.S. and Afghan officials. But he said some insurgents appear willing to try to find a political settlement to the war and that greater international support for negotiations has hastened the process.

“The international community now are showing more willingness, and they’re more interested, and the countries in the region are more interested. These kinds of things will help the process,” he said. “What I think is most important is building trust among each other.”

Rabbani, who served as president until he was ousted during the Taliban takeover in 1996, said President Hamid Karzai has told him he is committed to pushing for peace talks.

“He said: ‘I’m ready for negotiations. I’m ready to find a political solution to the problem, not a military one,’ ” Rabbani said.

The peace council, made up of about 70 prominent Afghans, was formed this month to draft policy on how to proceed with negotiations. The group has met just a few times and is still hashing out its management structure. If Taliban leaders gave a signal that they were serious about talks, a small team from the peace council would be delegated to meet with them, Rabbani said.