Italy says G20 summit on Afghanistan expected in coming weeks

Filed on September 27, 2021
Taliban members sit in front of a mural depicting a woman behind barbed wire in Kabul. — AP

Italy's foreign minister says there are methods of providing financial support without funding the Taliban

An extraordinary G20 summit on Afghanistan will take place within the next few weeks, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday.

“The date has not been determined yet, but an extraordinary G20 summit on Afghanistan will happen in the coming weeks,” Di Maio told the Italian broadcaster Rai3.

A meeting of the G20 foreign ministers that took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York showed that all the necessary conditions are in place for a summit that will be chaired by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the minister added.

“We have agreed on strengthening the fight against terrorism, defending human rights and delivering humanitarian aid, part of which should be sent for protection of women and girls,” Di Maio noted, stressing the need to prevent Afghanistan from breaking down and saying there are methods of providing financial support without funding the Taliban.

Italy, which currently holds the G20 presidency, has been working to convene a special summit of the world’s major economies to tackle the crisis in the country after the Taliban takeover. Rome is convinced that to make it happen Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other countries, including Afghanistan’s neighbours, have to be brought on board. The Italian government thinks the meeting should be held online ahead of the G20 summit in Rome in late October.

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