Tue 12 October 2021:
Leaders and ministers from the G20 countries were gathered via video conference to discuss a UN proposal to send funding to Afghanistan to help ease the country’s deteriorating humanitarian crisis.
US President Joe Biden and the other G20 leaders agreed during a virtual meeting to provide humanitarian aid directly to the Afghan people instead via the Taliban government, the White House said on Tuesday.
“The Leaders also reaffirmed their collective commitment to provide humanitarian assistance directly to the Afghan people through independent international organizations, and to promote fundamental human rights for all Afghans, including women, girls and members of minority groups,” the White House said in a statement.
The United States remains committed to working with international partners and using diplomatic, humanitarian and economic means to support Afghans, the statement said.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said the country was at a make-or-break moment. He told reporters in New York: “Respecting international law and principles, we have to find ways to inject liquidity into the economy for the economy not to collapse. If we do not act and help Afghans weather this storm, and do it soon, not only they but all the world will pay a heavy price.”
The European Union kicked off proceedings by announcing an additional €700 million in emergency help for Afghanistan and its neighbors. Following the EU executive’s promise of €300 million to help avoid basic services in Afghanistan from collapsing and food from running out, the contribution brings the overall commitment of fresh funding to €1 billion.
Merkel After G20 Talks On Afghanistan: Recognition Of Taliban Not On Agenda
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the government of the radical Taliban movement was not inclusive, and therefore there were no talks about its recognition.
“Today we all pointed out that according to our estimates I have said this clearly and many others too the Taliban government is not inclusive, and therefore the recognition of the Taliban is not on the agenda,” Merkel told reporters after the virtual talks of the G20 leaders on Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, negotiations with the Taliban should continue, she said.
She also noted that Germany would allocate funds for humanitarian support to the population of Afghanistan.
“Today we have again confirmed from the German side that we would allocate 600 million Euros ($692 million) this year to help solve humanitarian problems, because it is necessary to prevent an economic collapse,” the chancellor said.
It’s the first time the world’s wealthiest nations have gathered to examine the fallout from the US departure from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover on August 15. Before the takeover, Afghanistan was 75% dependent on international help, and the US has frozen assets kept abroad.
Taliban Should Be Judged Based On Their Actions – UK Foreign Secretary
The G20 leaders agreed that the Taliban should be judged based on their actions and not words during the Tuesday virtual meeting on Afghanistan, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.
“I spoke to G20 partners on the need to respond collectively on Afghanistan to: Prevent Afghanistan again becoming a base for terrorism, Preserve regional stability, Protect progress on human rights. We all agreed we must judge the Taliban on their actions, not words,” Truss tweeted.
The video conference is hosted by Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister, was struggled to bring together G20 countries for the summit. Russia and China oppose the western policy of imposing political demands on the Taliban as a condition of aid.
In a sign of the diplomatic tensions, Russia has arranged a rival Afghanistan conference in Moscow on 20 October, to which Pakistan, India and Iran have been invited. Iran is also arranging a conference of its own.
China has publicly demanded that economic sanctions on Afghanistan be lifted and that billions of dollars in Afghan international assets be unfrozen and handed back to Kabul.
Two neighbouring states, Pakistan and Iran, were not invited to join Tuesday’s G20 call.
Photo: A screen displays international leaders as they take part virtually in an extraordinary G20 leaders meeting on Afghanistan, in Rome, Italy, October 12, 2021. Filippo Attili/Palazzo Chigi Press Office/Handout.
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