G20 demands humanitarian access to Afghans, EU pledges cash

G20 demands humanitarian access to Afghans, EU pledges cash

The European Union pledged 1 billion euros ($1.15 billion) in support for the Afghan people, and the Group of 20 countries vowed to accelerate aid Tuesday amid concerns that an already precarious humanitarian and financial situation will grow catastrophic over the winter.

G-20 leaders demanded at a virtual summit hosted by Italy that the Taliban government allow humanitarian access across Afghanistan, keep Kabul Airport and the country’s borders open and ensure security for U.N., humanitarian and diplomatic staff. They also repeated previous demands that women’s rights be respected.

Italian Premier Mario Draghi said the meeting represented the first multilateral response to the crisis sparked by the August withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the takeover of the country by the Taliban.

Draghi told reporters that negotiations would be necessary with the Taliban to get humanitarian aid distributed. But he said such contact by no means constituted a political recognition of the Taliban, who he said would be “judged for what their deeds are, not their words.”

“The government, as we know, it’s not really inclusive, it’s not really representative,” he said. “Women’s rights, so far as far as we can see, it seems like they’re going back 20 years.”

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Vestnik Kavkaza

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