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G20 leaders to discuss Afghanistan in virtual summit

Humanitarian crisis in focus as Italy hosts G20 Afghan summit.
It is not clear if all leaders of G20 economic powers will join Tuesday´s meeting.
Afghanistan´s economy remains in a parlous state with international aid cut off, food prices rising and unemployment spiking.

ROME: G20 leaders will hold a virtual summit on Tuesday to discuss Afghanistan, with the Italy-hosted talks focused on the humanitarian and security situation following the takeover by the Taliban.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, whose country holds the rotating G20 presidency, has been pushing to widen the global discussion on Afghanistan to countries including Russia and China.

It was not clear if all the leaders of the G20 economic powers, which include the United States, EU, China, Turkey, Russia and Saudi Arabia among others, would join Tuesday´s meeting.

But an Italian government official said it would be “mostly heads of state and government”.

The summit will be held behind closed doors but Draghi will hold a press conference afterwards.

The Taliban returned to power in August following the withdrawal of US troops after 20 years of war.

Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister-designate, smiles at a news conference following a meeting with Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella in Rome, Italy, on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. Draghi agreed to take over as Italys next prime minister, naming his ministers as he prepares to head a new government that will prioritize the pandemic, a struggling economy and moving ahead with European integration. Photographer: Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Afghanistan´s economy remains in a parlous state with international aid cut off, food prices rising and unemployment spiking.

Announcing the meeting last month, the Italian premier said it would address what he said was the risk of a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Afghanistan.

Draghi, whose country was part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, said leaders would also look at measures the international community can take “to stop Afghanistan from again becoming a hotbed of international terrorism”.

The Taliban regime is still yet to be recognised as a legitimate government by any other country.

Media person and communication expert for over 25 years. Worked with Dow Jones News, World Bank, CNBC Pakistan, Aaj TV, ARY TV, Abbtakk TV, Business Recorder, Pakistan Observer, Online News Network, TTI Magazine and other local and world Publications.

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