Conflicts & War

Taliban urge US to resume aid, unfreeze Afghan assets

Kabul, Nov 17 (EFE).- The Taliban government on Wednesday issued an open letter to the United States Congress asking it to end sanctions against Afghanistan, resume the flow of aid and unfreeze assets in Afghan banks, in the view of the ongoing crisis in the country.

“I request the government of the USA to take responsible steps towards addressing the humanitarian and economic crisis unfolding in Afghanistan,” Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said in the letter.

He added that in order to ensure that “doors for future relations are opened,” it was required that “assets of Afghanistan’s Central Bank are unfrozen and sanctions on our banks are lifted.”

In the letter Muttaqi highlighted the contradictions in the US government’s approach, which had signed an agreement with the Taliban in Doha in February 2020 to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan after two decades of war, but imposed sanctions on the country once the Islamists seized Kabul on Aug. 15 this year.

“It is quite surprising that with the announcement of the new government, the administration of the USA slapped sanctions on the assets of our Central Bank. This goes against our expectations as well as the Doha Agreement,” he insisted.

Muttaqi said that now the “fundamental challenge” before the Afghan people was achieving financial security, and Washington’s decision to freeze their assets was at the root of this problem, something which was also affecting the future of bilateral ties.

The Taliban appealed to the conscience of the members of the US Congress, insisting that the sanctions were not only wreaking “havoc” with trade and business, but had also severely affected humanitarian aid in a country hit by decades of war, the pandemic, drought and endemic poverty.

Muttaqi referred to studies by the United Nations and other humanitarian groups that “conclude that if these conditions continue, the Afghans will face a dire situation this winter.”

“The suffering of a child from malnutrition, the death of a mother from lack of health services, the deprivation of a common Afghan from food, shelter, medicine and other primary needs has no political or logical justification, (…) because this is a pure humanitarian issue,” the letter argued. EFE


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