Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Italy for talks on Afghan crisis

After his recent visit to Austria, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is in Italy for discussions with Italian leaders on European-Russian relations.

Afghanistan is high on the agenda with the Italian prime minister Mario Draghi keen to advance the case for international consensus on dealing with the Taliban.

Lavrov is scheduled to be hosted by his counterpart Luigi Di Maio and to hold talks with the prime minister.

“Italy recognizes the importance of and need for Russia’s active involvement in addressing global challenges and crises. Our proposal for calling an emergency meeting of the G20 on Afghanistan is aimed precisely at attracting the main powers to the search for a comprehensive solution that would satisfy all sides,” Di Maio told TASS news agency.

Italy, which holds the rotating presidency of the G20, has proposed an extraordinary G20 summit to be held in Rome in September before the final meeting already planned for the end of October.

Rome says there cannot be any concrete discussion on Afghanistan without the involvement of key foreign powers such as Russia, China and India.

As part of that consensus-building process, Draghi had phone conversations with world leaders in the past few days, including Russian president Vladimir Putin who endorsed the possibility of discussing the stabilisation of Afghanistan during an extraordinary G20 summit.

The two also discussed the global terror threat that increased after the Taliban take over of Kabul.

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