Italy rules out recognising a Taliban government in Afghanistan

Italy’s FM urges foreign governments to prevent financial collapse that would result in a massive flow of migrants.

Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Kandahar, southwest Afghanistan [Sidiqullah Khan/AP Photo]

Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi Di Maio has said the Taliban government in Afghanistan could not be recognised but said Afghans should start receiving the financial support that was frozen after the armed group took power last month.

He urged foreign governments to prevent a financial collapse there that would result in a massive flow of migrants.

“Recognition of the Taliban government is impossible since there are 17 terrorists among the ministers, and the human rights of women and girls are continuously violated,” Di Maio told state-owned television Rai 3 on Sunday.

“Clearly, we must prevent Afghanistan from implosion and from an uncontrolled flow of migration that could destabilise neighbouring countries,” Di Maio, who chaired a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in New York last week, said.

“There are ways to guarantee financial support without giving money to the Taliban. We have also agreed that a part of humanitarian aid must always go to the protection of women and girls.”

Italy holds the annual, rotating presidency of the G20 and is looking to host a special summit on Afghanistan.

The G20 countries, together with Afghanistan’s neighbours, are committed to fight against terrorism, and to work for the protection of human rights, Di Maio added.

On Friday, the United States Treasury Department said it issued two general licences, one allowing the US government, NGOs and certain international organisations, including the United Nations, to engage in transactions with the Taliban or Haqqani Network – both under sanctions – that are necessary to provide humanitarian assistance.

The Taliban seized control of the country last month as foreign forces allied with the US withdrew from Afghanistan after a 20-year war. The events culminated in the capture of the capital, Kabul, on August 15, two decades after the Taliban was driven from power by a US-led campaign following the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The UN said that at the start of the year more than 18 million people – about half of Afghanistan’s population – require aid amid the country’s second drought in four years.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week that Afghanistan is on “the verge of a dramatic humanitarian disaster” and has decided to engage with the Taliban in order to help the country’s people.

Source: Reuters