New Delhi: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Friday discussed the need for a special leaders level meeting on Afghanistan by G20 grouping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Italy is the chair for G20 this year and will host all meetings of the grouping this year, including the leaders’ summit in October. The idea of a special meet on Afghanistan, which is an Italian idea, is being discussed with several other G20 member countries as well.
A readout from the Indian PMO on telephonic call said, “The leaders discussed the recent developments in Afghanistan and its implications for the region and the world”. While condemning the terror attack at Kabul international airport, the statement said that the leaders, “stressed upon the need for international cooperation, including at the level of the G20, in addressing the humanitarian crisis and long-term security concerns arising out of the developments in Afghanistan.”
During the talks, they also discussed issues like climate change and in that context, exchanged views on other forthcoming multilateral engagements too, such as COP-26 that will take place in November. Draghi is the second leader to discuss Afghanistan with PM Modi since the fall of Kabul to Taliban on August 15. Earlier he had a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, White House spokesperson Psaki, in response to a G20 meet on Afghanistan, directed it to state dept pointing to “planned engagements with international partners in the coming days.”. Not for the first time a special meeting by G20 is being organized on an international crisis. Last year, under Saudi leadership, G20 hosted a special leaders level summit to deal with COVID crisis.
The grouping formed after the 2008 financial crisis is increasingly being seen as key to global world order even as the United Nations remain defunct, especially lack of reforms at the security council. Countries like China have been holding reforms at the security council, and blocking expansion of membership for countries like India.