Richest Countries Want to Help Afghans Without Supporting the Taliban

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During the emergency session, leaders and representatives of the G20 countries emphasized that it is essential to support Afghanistan, but this does not mean recognizing the Taliban. The G20 represents the 19 largest national economies and the European Union.

 

During a virtual summit on the deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the G20 countries pledged to deliver humanitarian aid through independent international aid agencies.

Talks with the Taliban are inevitable and necessary, said Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who is currently temporary chairman of the G20. “All G20 leaders should be in contact with the Taliban, but that does not mean that the Taliban is recognized as the government of Afghanistan.”

According to Draghi, that political recognition of the Taliban is still a long way off. The G20 countries agreed that the Afghan rulers must first recognize human rights and especially women’s rights. “The Taliban are judged by what they do, not what they say,” stressed the Italian prime minister.

In the run-up to the G20 meeting, the European Union had already announced a €1 billion aid package for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries to prevent a further humanitarian crisis.

In addition to the EU leaders, US President Joe Biden, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also participated in the virtual session. Major absentees were Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Until now, political leaders have seemed divided on how to deal with the crisis in Afghanistan. Some countries see humanitarian aid and political recognition as a means of putting pressure on the Taliban. But, according to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the Afghan people should not be collectively punished by not offering them help. The G20 now seems to have found a tentative compromise.

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