The two leaders spoke in favour of consolidating international efforts to foster peace and stability in Afghanistan as Europe and the US cut Taliban's financial lifeline.

A US Marine checks two civilians during processing through an Evacuee Control Checkpoint (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan August 18, 2021.
A US Marine checks two civilians during processing through an Evacuee Control Checkpoint (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan August 18, 2021. (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have discussed Afghanistan, highlighting the importance of avoiding a humanitarian catastrophe in the country, the Kremlin said.

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.

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.

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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. 

European leaders are concerned that instability in Afghanistan will force millions of Afghans to seek refugee elsewhere. 

At the same time, developed countries have stopping financial flows to Kabul after the Afghan capital was taken over by the Taliban. 

Washington has frozen more than $9 billion of Afghanistan central bank's reserves held at US banks. IMF has also refused to release a $370 million loan to Kabul. 

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Source: Reuters