ROME, Feb 10: Italy, which heads the Group of Eight, will host a conference in June on securing the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the ‘spillover’ of terrorism, drugs and organised crime, a senior Italian diplomat said on Tuesday.

As well as its G8 partners, Italy plans to invite regional powers that can play a useful role in tackling problems which cross over into Iran and also into Russia’s sphere of influence.

But it is not yet clear whether Iran itself will be invited.

The talks will be held in Trieste on June 27, a day after G8 foreign ministers from the United States, Russia, Britain, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Japan meet there. Italy will invite countries with regional influence, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, said the diplomat.

Sandro de Bernardin, political director of Italy’s foreign ministry, said the “Afghanistan-Pakistan axis” was crucial in tackling terrorism.

“When it comes to phenomena like drug trafficking and organised crime, the problem is not just limited to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border but it involves also other countries around Afghanistan,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The Italian official said Russia was worried about “organised crime, drug trafficking and terrorism spilling over from the Afghanistan border and passing through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan”.

Regarding Iran’s participation, the Italian diplomat said this was still a “work in progress”.

Italy was discussing Iran’s presence with its G8 partners, he said. The West was now undergoing a “phase of changes” in its relationship with Tehran.—Reuters

Opinion

Editorial

PDM’s lack of strategy
08 Dec 2021

PDM’s lack of strategy

Ever since the PDM’s whimpering end to its first campaign, it has hardly given any reason for the govt to have sleepless nights.
08 Dec 2021

Undertrials’ escape

IN any country with respect for the law an incident such as Monday’s escape of undertrials from a lock-up in ...
08 Dec 2021

Suu Kyi’s sentence

THE military junta that holds sway in Myanmar clearly wants to ensure that Aung San Suu Kyi does not participate in...
07 Dec 2021

Losing fiscal discipline

ONE of the several changes proposed in the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act of 2005, seeking major...
07 Dec 2021

Taliban brutality

LAST WEEK, the US, the Western countries and other allies joined hands to condemn the Afghan Taliban for the alleged...
Dangerous justification
Updated 07 Dec 2021

Dangerous justification

AT a time when millions worldwide are consumed with anger and despair over the barbaric lynching of a Sri Lankan...