Sunday, October 17, 2021

G20 consultation in Italy – EU provides one billion euros for Afghanistan

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The G20 states are discussing the situation in Afghanistan – and the EU has already pledged a billion euros in aid. The country is threatened with a humanitarian crisis.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced additional aid funds to support needy Afghans and neighboring countries at the G20 deliberations on the situation in Afghanistan. A total of around one billion euros will be available, she announced on Tuesday at a video conference of the heads of state and government of the G20 countries.

In addition to the already pledged 300 million euros for humanitarian aid, there should be another at least 250 million euros for health protection, among other things. According to the plans, more money will flow to neighboring countries that have taken in people who have fled Afghanistan.

Everything must be done to prevent severe humanitarian and socio-economic collapse in Afghanistan, commented von der Leyen. The Afghan people should not pay the price for the Taliban’s actions.

At the same time, the EU Commission emphasized that traditional development aid for the reconstruction of the country would remain frozen for the time being. This should only be resumed when the Taliban, for example, guarantee compliance with women’s rights and freedom of the media and form a government that represents the country’s ethnic and religious diversity.

The heads of state and government of the G20 countries are discussing the crisis in Afghanistan at a special summit this Tuesday afternoon. At the invitation of Italy, the humanitarian situation in the country on the Hindu Kush and foreign concerns about new terrorist dangers will be discussed at the video switch. It is also a question of how the Taliban will be dealt with in the future, who had recently regained power after the end of a military mission by the West that lasted around 20 years.

In addition to the 20 most important industrialized countries, representatives of the European Union, the United Nations and international organizations are invited to the conference. The country urgently needs financial help from abroad, otherwise a humanitarian catastrophe threatens in the face of a drought and the upcoming winter.

Meanwhile, the presidents of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, are not personally attending the special virtual summit. Both governments confirmed this on Tuesday in Beijing and Moscow.

China’s head of state and party will be represented by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, while only Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and Afghanistan Representative Samir Kabulov will join in for Russia.

China and Russia play an important role because they offered their support to the Islamists at an early stage and show little fear of contact.

Russian President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov could not attend the G20 meeting because of various other dates, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Interfax agency. The Italian side had been informed about this in advance.

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