Afghanistan: Help nearby countries with refugees - Di Maio

Make sure terror does not return to country FM tells EU

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 3 - Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told his EU counterparts in Slovenia Friday that the Union should support countries neighbouring Afghanistan as they struggle to cope with refugees, while fighting a possible resurgence in terrorism in the region.
    Di Maio said he would shortly carry out a tour of the neighbouring countries.
    "In the next few hours I will travel to Qatar and Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan, on a mission," he told the other foreign ministers.
    "We need agreed action on the front of assistance and development and humanitarian aid.
    "We must support the neighbouring countries which are already facing Afghan migratory pressure.
    "We are ready to earmark for assistance the resources which were previously dedicated to the Afghan security forces." Di Maio went on to say that "the fight against terrorism is another priority.
    "We must work with the major international actors and guarantee that the Taliban respect their commitment to stop any terrorist group operating in the country." Di Maio also said the EU needed a policy on migration with targeted resources ranging from Afghanistan to the central Mediterranean route where Italy bears the brunt of arrivals.
    "The EU has the moral and political duty to lend its humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees in a cohesive way," said the Italian FM.
    "Humanitarian intervention in favour of countries neighbouring Kabul should find funding among the programmes of humanitarian intervention.
    "The resources that will be mobilized for migrant policies in Afghanistan and the neighbouring countries must be inserted into the context of a broad EU migratory policy that is able to meet the needs of all the migratory routes, including that of the central Mediterranean". (ANSA).


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