Italy's Draghi, China's Xi discuss Afghanistan, G20 summit

FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrives for the NATO summit at the Alliance's headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium, June 14, 2021. Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS

China's President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi spoke by telephone on Tuesday about the Afghan crisis, Draghi's office said.

The two leaders also discussed cooperation between their countries at a bilateral level and in the context of a summit of the Group of 20 rich nations which Draghi will host in Rome next month, the statement said.

Xi said China would support Italy's efforts in making the summit a success, China's official Xinhua news agency said, adding he hoped Italy would play an active role in promoting China-EU relations.

FILE PHOTO: China's President Xi Jinping speaks at a news conference after the closing of G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Draghi said last week Italy was working on organising a separate, ad hoc G20 summit focused on Afghanistan to be held after this month's United Nations assembly, which ends on Sept. 30.

The statements from Draghi's office and Xinhua made no mention of such a summit, but Draghi's spokesperson said Draghi was continuing to discuss the project with various G20 leaders.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley in Beijing and Angelo Amante in Rome; Editing by Gavin Jones and Mark Potter)


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