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G20 extraordinary summit participants agree to help Afghanistan

The G20 nations agreed to continue contacts with the Taliban, which doesn’t mean their recognition by the world community

ROME, October 12. /TASS/. The issue of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan caused no differences among the participants in the Group of Twenty extraordinary summit on the situation in Afghanistan that was called by Italy on Tuesday.

The meeting did not yield a joint final statement but the Italian side issues Shared Goals and Principles focusing on aid deliveries, steps to prevent economic and social collapse, human rights, combating illegal drug, weapons and human trafficking, ensuring the freedom of movement, and anti-terrorism efforts.

According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union’s assistance will amount to one billion euro. The United States, according to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, agreed to increase its aid by 300 million US dollars.

The G20 nations agreed to continue contacts with the Taliban (outlawed in Russia), which doesn’t mean their recognition by the world community. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, this issue is not even on the agenda. Contacts with the Taliban are needed to resolve the humanitarian crisis, Draghi said.

The G20 countries also agreed to support "current and future technical efforts to keep the Kabul international airport wholly operational," according to the Shared Goals and Principles.

The participants in the meeting stressed that the situation in Afghanistan is fraught with increasing terrorist threats, drug and human trafficking and agreed to take measures to prevent the country from becoming a nest of terrorists. In this context, exchange of intelligence data and involvement of Afghanistan’s neighbors to the settlement effort are needed.

According to the Italian prime minister, all the countries unanimously recognized the necessity to act under the mandate and auspices of the United Nations, which will coordinate efforts of the world community. According to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the international response should be based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2593.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came out with an initiative to set up a working group on Afghanistan under the G20 auspices.

Russian and Chinese Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, did not take part in the meeting of the G20 leaders that was held in the videoconference format. Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained his absence by his busy schedule - the president met with lawmakers of the newly elected Russian State Duma, or upper parliament house, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

As the meeting organizer, Mario Draghi noted that there were no political motives behind the absence of the Russian and Chinese leaders. Russia was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and presidential special envoy for Afghanistan and director of the foreign ministry’s second Asia department, Zamir Kabulov. China was represented by Foreign Minister Wang Yi.