Italy says G20 to hold October summit on Afghanistan

Rome has called the meeting as it fears a humanitarian disaster in Central Asian country

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced on Wednesday that the G20 world economic powers will hold a summit on Afghanistan next month in a bid to avert a humanitarian disaster.

“There will be an extraordinary G20 summit on Afghanistan on October 12,” Mr Draghi told reporters.

“We want to see if it's possible for the 20 richest countries in the world to have common objectives.”

Rome, which holds the rotating presidency of the G20 forum, has been seeking to widen the global discussion on Afghanistan to countries including Russia and China.

“I hear endlessly that a humanitarian catastrophe is about to happen because Afghanistan has no support from the rest of the world,” Mr Draghi said.

“I think it's the duty of the world's richest countries to do something to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe,” he added.

The meeting will also look at what measures the international community can take “to stop Afghanistan from again becoming a hotbed of international terrorism".

The gathering will be open to other participants including the UN, the Netherlands, Spain and Qatar, he said.

The Afghanistan conference is likely to be held by video link.

G20 heads of state or government are already scheduled to attend the main G20 summit in Rome in person on October 30 and 31.

Updated: September 29th 2021, 8:08 PM