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Italy still hopes for G20 summit on Afghanistan, Draghi says

Italy still hopes for G20 summit on Afghanistan, Draghi says

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi gestures as he speaks at a news conference where he is expected to map out the country's next moves in loosening coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Rome, Italy, on Apr 16, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli)

ROME: Italy still hopes to hold an ad hoc summit of the Group of 20 major economies on Afghanistan although no nation had yet laid out a strategy on how to deal with the Taliban, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

Italy, which holds the rotating G20 presidency this year, has previously signaled it was looking to call a one-off G20 meeting for the middle of this month.

Draghi said he would discuss the crisis with French President Emmanuel Macron later on Thursday and with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week. But any G20 meeting would not be held until after this month's United Nations assembly, which ends on Sep 30, he said.

"Nobody can claim to have a clear strategy at this stage ... nobody has a road map," Draghi told a news conference.

The former European Central Bank chief said European Union countries had to do a better job on confronting migration issues and criticised those member states that were refusing to take in more Afghan refugees.

"The European Union ... is still unable to manage such crises ... some countries already said they don't want any Afghans. How can you do that?" Draghi said.

Austria, where more than 40,000 Afghan refugees already live, has made clear it will not accept any more people and Hungary - a traditional hardliner on immigration - has rejected any plans to accommodate large numbers.

Source: Reuters/ec

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