G20: Taliban, terrorism, aid in Afghanistan dominate the virtual summit

G20: Taliban, terrorism, aid in Afghanistan dominate the virtual summit
Image: President Biden

The G20 group of nations met virtually Tuesday. The world’s major economies pledged to avert an economic catastrophe in war-torn Afghanistan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country should not be allowed to ‘descend into chaos’. This virtual summit comes after the United Nations urged the world leaders to put billions of dollars into the Afghan economy.

Also, US President Joe Biden stressed that aid should be provided via independent international organisations, not in the hands of the Taliban.

The collective pledges from G20 will see a promise by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to give €1bn ($1.15bn; £850m) to Afghanistan and to neighbouring countries taking in refugees.

The German Chancellor too reaffirmed her country’s pledge of €600m.

Afghanistan in the aftermath of Taliban takeover

Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has left the country in a massive shock; its waves are now reflecting in a crumbling economy and worst political state.

Banks were shut for many days post the Taliban takeover. Although, many banks have opened now accessing cash is still difficult.

Now that there is no cash in the market, a sharp rise in prices of daily necessities is being reported.

In Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, several people are still living in open tents.

The development aid given by foreign countries and agencies to Afghanistan is all but frozen.

Now the global community also faces a tough decision as to how to reach the Afghan people without recognising a Taliban government.

The G20 leaders

The German chancellor also said that the Taliban must grant access to all UN bodies delivering aid; while stressing the need for the rights and girls and women to be respected.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi hosting the virtual summit also said that the G20 countries had to have contact with the Taliban but that did not mean recognition of the Islamist group’s government.

However, not all the G20 leaders were present. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin sent their representatives.

The summit took place as the Western and Afghan officials met in Qatar to discuss various issues related to terrorism and the evacuation of foreigners.

This is for the first time when direct talks took place between the two sides since US troops pull out.


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