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Italy To Host G20 Summit On Afghanistan Next Month


Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (file photo)

Italy plans to hold an extraordinary meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies on October 12 to discuss Afghanistan, which is facing a humanitarian catastrophe following the takeover by the Taliban last month.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi made the announcement on September 29, saying that "it's the duty of the world's richest countries to do something to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe."

The summit will also look at what measures the international community can take to prevent Afghanistan becoming a "hotbed of international terrorism," according to Draghi, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the G20 forum.

Following the collapse of the Western-backed government in Kabul in mid-August in the face of a blitz offensive by the Taliban, countries and international organizations have suspended disbursements for Afghanistan to prevent the hard-line Islamist group from gaining access to aid money.

The move has prompted a worsening of the economic situation in the war-torn country, where millions have been left struggling to afford spiraling prices.

Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people are in desperate need of shelter, clothing, and food to survive the coming winter.

Rome has said the systematic violation of women's rights makes it impossible to recognize the Taliban-led government, but urged foreign government to guarantee financial support to the Afghan civilians.

The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The upcoming talks on Afghanistan will be open to other participants, including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and countries such as Qatar.

G20 heads of state or government are already scheduled to attend the main G20 summit in Rome on October 30-31.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP
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