Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, the country – already reeling from drought and severe poverty after decades of war – has seen its economy collapse, raising the risk of refugees fleeing.
“Basically there has been a convergence of views on the need to address the humanitarian emergency,” Draghi told reporters at the end of a video conference.
US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several European leaders attended, but Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin did not dial in, suggesting different international positions on the emergency.
Draghi said the absence of the latter two leaders did not diminish the importance of the meeting organized by Italy, the current G20 president.
“This was the first multilateral response to the Afghan crisis … Multilateralism is barely coming back, but it is coming back,” Draghi said.
There was a unanimous consensus among participants about the need to mitigate the crisis in Afghanistan, where banks are running out of money, civil servants have not been paid and food prices have risen, leaving millions of people seriously ill. There is a danger of hunger.
“It’s very hard to see how you can help people in Afghanistan without involving the Taliban … but that doesn’t mean recognizing them,” Draghi said.
He added that the Taliban will be judged by their actions, not their words, and that the world is particularly concerned about the plight of women in the poor nation.
“At the moment we don’t see progress,” Draghi said.
The White House said the leaders had discussed the “critical need to maintain a laser-focused attention to our enduring counter-terrorism efforts against threats from ISIS-K.”
In a joint statement after the meeting, the G20 leaders called on the Taliban to tackle terrorist groups operating outside the country. He said future humanitarian programs should focus on women and girls and give safe passage to Afghans who want to leave the country.
Ahead of the meeting, China demanded that economic sanctions on Afghanistan be lifted and that billions of dollars of Afghan international assets be stabilized and returned to Kabul.
The United States and Britain, where many properties are being held, are opposing the effort, and no mention of the matter was made in the final statement.
Credit : www.cnn.com