Taliban ask UN not to use sanctions to pressure Afghanistan

Kabul, Aug 21 (EFEP).- The Taliban government has asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) not to use sanctions as a form of pressure on the Islamists as it contemplates ending travel ban exemptions on several of its leaders.

“If the travel ban is extended, it will create distance instead of promoting dialogue and engagement, an outcome that must be prevented,” the Taliban told the UNSC in a statement released at midnight on Saturday.

The Doha agreement, signed between the Taliban and the United States in early 2020 to pave a way to peace and which led to the withdrawal of troops, established that “all sanctions shall be removed from IEA (Afghanistan’s official name) leadership.”

This clause “should be implemented in full,” the Taliban added.

The UN Security Council is currently debating whether to extend travel exemptions for 13 Taliban officials.

“UNSC member states should know that some bigoted western circles are deliberately trying to create distance between Afghanistan and the world, and are provoking Afghans to take a stern stance in response which is not in the interest of anyone,” the Afghan government said.

The UN has imposed sanctions on dozens of Taliban members, many of them leaders of the Islamist government, including a travel ban and asset freeze.

However, an exemption was approved for 13 leaders in 2019 at the request of the administration of then United States President Donald Trump to facilitate talks between the Taliban and Washington.

The Security Council has returned to address the matter of these 13 exemptions since they were due to expire on Friday.

Without a decision in this regard, all the 13 leaders would be unable to travel outside Afghan territory.

“Renewal of travel exemption for IEA officials is required as it is to keep the door of talks and engagement open. Don’t close this door; it served none in the past and won’t serve anyone now,” Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said on Twitter.

Although a final decision by the Security Council on the exemptions is yet to be known, the spokesperson said the Taliban was “grateful to Russia and China for their sound and realistic approach.” EFE


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