Taliban calls on US Congress to release frozen Afghan assets | Taliban news

The $ 9.5 billion in frozen assets and loans threatens to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the country, the group said.

The Taliban has urged members of the US Congress to act to release Afghan assets frozen after their takeover of the country in August.

In an open letter on Wednesday, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said the biggest challenge facing Afghanistan was financial insecurity, “and the roots of this concern lead back to the US government’s freezing of our people’s assets.”

“I urge … so that the doors of future relations are opened, assets of Afghanistan’s central bank are released, and sanctions against our banks are lifted,” he wrote, warning that the economic turmoil in the home could lead to problems abroad, causing mass migration that “will consequently create further humanitarian and economic issues”.

Washington has seized nearly $ 9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank since the Taliban seized power. In October, US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told a U.S. Senate committee that he did not see any situation in which the Taliban would gain access to Afghan central bank reserves.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s aid – dependent economy has virtually collapsed – with officials unpaid for months and the Treasury unable to pay for imports.

While concerned nations have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, many are reluctant to commit funds unless the Taliban agree to a more inclusive government and guarantee the rights of women and minorities.

“I give you our compliments and would like to share a few thoughts on our bilateral relations,” Muttaqi wrote, noting that 2021 was the centenary of Washington’s recognition of Afghanistan’s independence.

“Like other world countries, our bilateral relations have also experienced ups and downs,” he added, downplaying the 20-year war between US-led foreign forces and the group in the country.

To date, Washington has not recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, although President Joe Biden’s administration announced last week that Qatar would act as its diplomatic representative in the country.

‘Understanding concerns’

In the letter, Muttaqi argued that Afghanistan enjoyed a stable government for the first time in more than 40 years – a period that began with an invasion of the Soviet Union in 1979 and ended with the withdrawal of the last US troops on 31 August.

The Taliban had previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, pursuing brutal policies that violated human rights, especially for women and girls. Their return to power has sparked fears of human rights.

Since taking power, the group’s leaders have tried to convince the international community that they intend to do things differently this time around, despite their decision not to appoint any female ministers so far and for the most part to prevent girls from returning. to high school, have done so. a little to alleviate the worries.

“Practical steps have been taken towards good governance, security and transparency,” Muttaqi wrote.

“There is no threat to the region or the world from Afghanistan, and a path has been paved for positive cooperation.”

Muttaqi said Afghans “understand the concerns of the international community”, but that it was necessary for all sides to take positive steps to build trust.

He warned that the United States risked further damaging its reputation in the country “and this will serve as the worst memory ingrained in Afghans in the hands of America”.

“We hope the members of the US Congress will think carefully in this regard,” he added.


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