ROME, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Tuesday it was vital for the Group of Seven wealthy nations and Europe to adopt a common policy on immigration from Afghanistan as they rush to pull people out of the country by an Aug. 31 deadline.
Speaking after a virtual summit of G7 leaders, Draghi said in a statement that the exclusive club of major industrialised economies also needed to involve the broader Group of 20 nations in its discussions on Afghanistan.
“The G20 can help the G7 in involving other countries that are very important because they have the possibility of controlling what happens in Afghanistan: Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and India,” he said.
Italy holds the annual, rotating presidency of the G20 and is looking to host a special summit on Afghanistan next month, but has yet to get the backing of Washington for the plan.
Draghi said it was essential for international organisations to have access to Afghanistan after the end of August and said Italy would henceforth direct resources intended for the Afghan military forces to humanitarian aid.
On the immigration front, Draghi said there was still no coordinated or common approach at a European or international level. “We have to make huge efforts on this,” he said, adding that such cooperation was likewise vital to fight terrorism.
Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Giulia Segreti
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.