G20 leaders call for ‘laser focus’ on counter terror at summit on Afghanistan

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G20 leaders call for ‘laser focus’ on counter terror at summit on Afghanistan

The G20 leaders on Tuesday called for a “laser focus” on counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan, including threats from the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) group, the White House said in a readout of US President Joe Biden’s participation in the meeting that took place virtually. The G20 leaders also called for safe passage for adequately documented foreign nationals and Afghan partners wanting to leave Afghanistan. The G20 met for a special session on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, hosted virtually by Mario Draghi, the Prime Minister of Italy, which holds the rotational presidency of the group for 2021. The regular summit of the leaders is scheduled for later in the month in Rome. The G20 leaders were joined Tuesday by guest countries and international financial institutions, with Joe Biden attending the event. “The leaders discussed the critical need to maintain a laser focus on our enduring counterterrorism efforts, including against threats from ISIS-K (another name for IS-K), and ensuring safe passage for those foreign nationals and Afghan partners with documentation seeking to depart Afghanistan,” the White House said. The leaders also “reaffirmed their collective commitment to provide humanitarian assistance directly to the Afghan people through independent international organizations”, and to promote fundamental human rights for all Afghans, including women, girls, and members of minority groups.

The White House further said that the US “remains committed to working closely with the international community and using diplomatic, humanitarian and economic means to address the situation in Afghanistan and support the Afghan people”. President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in August paved the way for the Taliban to return to power, jeo praising the gains of the past 20 years, especially rights of women, children and minorities. Joe Biden has faced severe criticism from allies at home and around the world for abandoning Afghanistan in - as has been said - a move driven by domestic political expediency. The White House readout did not give details of American President Joe Biden’s own remarks at the G20 meeting.