Terror threat in Afghanistan concrete says Di Maio

Common strategy needed says Italy FM at G7-EU-NATO summit

(ANSA) - ROME, AUG 30 - The terrorist threat in Afghanistan is concrete, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told a G7-EU-NATO extraordinary summit on the Asian country Monday, according to persons present.
    Di Maio said the suicide-bomb attack at Kabul airport that killed at least 170 Afghan civilians and13 US soldiers and more recent rocket attacks thwarted by US defence systems showed that "the terrorist threat in Afghanistan is concrete and must be addressed".
    He added "it is fundamental to maintain close cooperation in facing the Afghan crisis." Di Maio thanked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for calling the summit, which Di Maio said was "an important opportunity to discuss a shared strategy".
    Di Maio went on: "Our Embassy promptly moved to Rome and is fully operational. Our special envoy to Afghanistan is in Doha.
    It is important to continue to guarantee close liaison there too and decide a common position among allies on where to place our diplomatic presence. It is fundamental to act together towards the Taliban. We must judge them by their actions, not by their words".
    Di Maio went on: "Afghanistan cannot again become a breeding ground for terrorism and a threat to international security. WE must remain vigilant and make sure the Taliban respect their commitment to prevent any terrorist group operating in the country. In this regard, we must work with all the parties that share this same concern, starting with the countries in the region and including Russia and China. The commitment of the whole international community is needed".
    Di Maio went on: "WE will continue to supply humanitarian assistance and we will revise cooperation programmes in order to direct as many resources as possible towards humanitarian aid, in particular towards the region's needy countries.
    "As (Premier Mario) Draghi told the G7, we are ready to re-employ funds originally destined for supporting Afghan forces towards aid programmes. At the same time we will have to be vigilant to make sure that humanitarian access to the Country is guaranteed, that aid effectively reaches those who need it and that there are no impediments to the presence of the UN agencies". (ANSA).


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