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Friday, October 22, 2021

Macron lays out conditions for Taliban ahead of G20 summit

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Qatar is attending a G20 meeting ahead of the summit on 12 October.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the upcoming G20 summit must send the Taliban a clear message regarding conditions for international recognition.

“I believe international recognition should have a price, and the dignity of Afghan women, equality between men and women, should be one of the points on which we insist, and should be a condition for us,” Macron told France’s Inter Radio Station broadcast on Tuesday.

He added that non-cooperation with the Islamic State militant group should also be among the conditions for the Taliban.

The G20 summit is set to take place from 30 to 31 October and will focus on Afghanistan.

“We absolutely must, that is to say us, the Europeans, the Americans, China, Russia, the big powers of Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America all together, we must have a very clear message that we will set conditions for recognition of the Taliban,” he said.

France withdrew its troops from Afghanistan in 2014 following former President Francois Hollande’s decision in 2012 to begin a drawdown of forces.

Last week, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said an “extraordinary” meeting on Afghanistan will be taking place ahead of the summit on 12 October.

Qatar to attend ‘extraordinary’ G20 meeting on Afghanistan

Draghi, whose country currently holds the bloc’s rotating presidency, said Qatar is scheduled to attend the meeting along with the International Monetary Fund [IMF], the World Bank and the UN.

“We have to see whether there are shared objectives among the G20 nations…we have reached a point where we only need to worry about saving lives,” Draghi told a news conference, calling on the international community to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a haven for militants.

Italy had previously asked Qatar to move its Kabul embassy to Doha, joining other western countries in carrying out diplomatic operations from the Gulf state.

Countries including the Netherlands, the UK, Japan and the US have already made similar requests to Qatar.

Since the Taliban takeover in August, Italy has successfully evacuated 5,011 people, including 4,890 Afghans in the weeks-long airlift of people from Kabul. Among the Afghan evacuees were 1,301 women and 1,453 children.

This came after the Taliban captured control of Kabul on 15 August, triggering a mass exodus of Afghans desperate to flee a country facing decades of war, poverty and corruption.

Qatar has been playing a critical role in Afghanistan, mainly by facilitating dialogue between all parties throughout the Afghan peace process and hosting historic talks between the US and the Taliban.

More recently, the Gulf country played a major humanitarian role in evacuating Afghans and foreigners from the country following the Taliban’s takeover.

Since then, Doha has managed to evacuate over 50,000 people from the war-torn country while working to ensure Kabul’s airport resumes operations.


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