TRIESTE, Italy, (PPI/AFP) - The foreign ministers of the worlds eight leading industrialised nations praised Pakistans war against Taliban-linked militants at a summit Saturday in Italian city of Trieste. The G8 supports Pakistans decisive action against violent extremism and militancy and acknowledge Pakistans ongoing counter-terrorism efforts, a joint statement, approved after a meeting with foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan, said. About three million civilians have fled fighting between government and militant forces in Pakistans restive northwest province since the spring. The G8 commits to working closely with United Nations and humanitarian agencies to help provide assistance to those affected. The statement came after talks between G8 foreign ministers and their counterparts from Pakistan, Afghanistan and neighbouring states including India, and China conclude on Saturday. The participants in a separate document urged the Afghan government to make sure presidential elections in August are fair and open to all candidates. Ministers emphasised need for presidential decree on non-interference of state institutions to be scrupulously applied such that equal rights of all candidates to participate fully in process are not impeded, statement said. At the same time, it affirmed impartiality of its members regarding outcome of elections, and stressed its utmost commitment to credibility and transparency of the process. G8 members are eager to stabilise Pakistan and Afghanistan. Diplomats say Afghanistans election will be crucial part of that fight, arguing that a free and transparent vote will help convince Afghan citizens that they have a stake in their countrys government. Only credible, secure, inclusive elections can produce legitimate leadership for the country, joint statement said. European Union is to send an observers team to polls. The G8 meeting comprised Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and United States. It also involved officials from China, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, international organisations like EU and UN. Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said talks focussed on the development of economic infrastructure and enhanced regional connectivity - open trade corridors, improving rail and road links. We were discussing how important it is for these people to return home as soon as possible, Qureshi told AFP. Its a huge challenge. Obviously we need more help, international help, because if we win on the military front and we lose hearts and minds, then it will come to naught, he said. The foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan joined their counterparts from Central Asia, officials from aid organisations and the G8, but key player Iran decided to stay away amid turmoil at home over its contested election. US envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke joined the talks that also touched on countering drug trafficking by strengthening border security. The United States is winding down efforts to destroy poppy crops in Afghanistan, which produces more than 90 percent of the worlds opium, most of it grown in the troubled southern Helmand province. Most is converted into heroin and trafficked mainly to Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars weve spent on crop eradication has not done any damage to the Taliban. On the contrary, its helped them recruit, Holbrooke said earlier this week. During a separate meeting with the G8 on Friday, the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan acknowledged that drug trafficking remains a significant financial source for extremists and called for more cooperation to combat the illicit trade. It is very important to revive agriculture in Afghanistan, which made the country rich before the war, while today it is dominated by crops linked to the narcotics trade, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told AFP. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Iran has an interest in joining counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan because of its high rate of drug addiction. Some 40 percent of Afghanistans drug trade to Europe and beyond passes through Irans borders, Frattini told a news conference following G8 talks. Iran suffers from the drug trade, he said, adding that six percent of Irans population is addicted to drugs and that perhaps no other country in the world has such a high addiction rate. That is a very good reason for Iran to cooperate with us in the future, he added. Italy had invited Iran to take part in Group of Eight meetings on Afghanistan in Trieste, but Tehran decided to stay away as it faced Western criticism over its contested election. Monitoring Desk adds: Foreign ministers from Group of Eight countries said Saturday they supported the possibility of liberalising trade between the European Union and Pakistan, reports The Boston Globe. The possibility was raised earlier this month at a summit between the EU and Pakistan, in which the parties agreed to step up trade talks with a view to liberalizing market access and possibly adopting a free trade agreement. The G-8 held talks in Trieste, Italy, on stabilisation in Afghanistan and Pakistan that were extended to officials from the two countries and other regional players. The participants said in a statement Saturday that they welcomed the prospects of trade liberalisation. The statement said increased trade was crucial for the regions development and called for stronger ties between countries in the area. The United States under the Obama Administration is supporting a proposal initiated under President George W Bush that would allow poor tribal regions in Pakistan and Afghanistan to sell clothing and goods they make to US buyers tax-free.