Rome, Aug 17 (AP) Italy’s prime minister is vowing that Italy will remain committed to promoting and protecting fundamental rights in Afghanistan, especially of women, following the Taliban takeover and the evacuation of Western diplomats and military forces.
Italy, which holds the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 industrialized countries this year, is “the natural” forum to launch a process of collaboration among countries including China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, in addition to Europe, Premier Mario Draghi said.
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In an interview with state-run RAI television, Draghi paid tribute to the 53 Italian soldiers killed and 700 injured during Italy’s 20-year participation in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and said Italy was looking to the future, not to the past.
He said: “The future for Italy is made up by the defense of fundamental rights, the defense of the rights of women and the protection of all those who exposed themselves in these years to defend these rights in Afghanistan. This must be undertaken in all possible contexts.”
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He said the priority for Europe was to continue welcoming those Afghans who collaborated with the West and their families, those who worked for women’s rights in Afghanistan, and to ensure security to “prevent terrorist infiltration.”
Noting that a G20 ministerial meeting is planned later this month dedicated to women, as well as the leaders’ summit at the end of October, Draghi said: “This year of our presidency of the G20, we are fully committed to building the appropriate seat for this collaboration.” (AP)
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