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G20 Leaders Agree To Step Up Afghan Humanitarian Effort

The European Union opened the talks by pledging one billion euros ($1.2-billion), including money for urgent humanitarian needs

Rome: 

G20 leaders agreed Tuesday to work together to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, as the EU pledged a one-billion-euro aid package and host Italy stressed the need to maintain contacts with the Taliban.

As the Islamist group held its first face-to-face talks with a US-EU delegation in Qatar, US President Joe Biden, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and India’s Narendra Modi joined a virtual summit on the looming economic and humanitarian crises sparked by the Taliban’s return to power.

The European Union opened the talks by pledging one billion euros ($1.2-billion), including money for urgent humanitarian needs and Afghanistan’s neighbours who were taking in Afghans fleeing the Taliban.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi had been pushing for the Group of 20 meeting since the August takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, insisting debate over solutions must go beyond the usual club of Western allies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin did not attend themselves, instead sending representatives, but Draghi insisted they all agreed on the need to help more.

“Instead of responding and arguing… we now have an awareness of this emergency and of the enormous responsibilities that the G20 has towards the Afghan people,” he told a post-summit press conference.

News Credit: NDTV.com

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