France’s Macron, Italy’s Draghi and Russia’s Putin Discuss Iran, Afghanistan

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron during a video conference call at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia June 26, 2020. FILE PHOTO.REUTERS./

Aug 19 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed Afghanistan in separate phone calls on Thursday, highlighting the importance of addressing humanitarian issues in the country.

Putin and Macron also discussed issues of Karabakh, Iran and Ukraine among others and agreed to continue personal contacts, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The discussions came as G7 foreign ministers called for the international community to unite in its response to the Afghan crisis to prevent it from escalating further.

Putin and Draghi both spoke in favour of consolidating international efforts, including through the G20 bloc, in order to foster peace and stability in Afghanistan, the Kremlin said in a statement.

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Italy holds the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 and is considering calling a special summit to address the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, a diplomatic source in Rome said.

In a statement from Rome, Draghi’s office said he and Putin had had a “substantial discussion” about the situation in Afghanistan and on its regional implications.

They also looked at the guidelines the international community might follow “to restore Afghanistan’s stability, fight terrorism and illegal trafficking and protect women’s rights”, the Italian statement said.

In a separate statement, Draghi’s office said the Italian leader had also spoken on Thursday with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“During the call the two leaders discussed the different implications of the Afghan crisis, including the management of the migration flows and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country,” the statement said.

Putin also spoke to Macron on Thursday, discussing Afghanistan under the Taliban’s rule and the importance of ensuring the safety of civilians, the Kremlin said.