Taliban Asks US, EU to Lift Sanctions

The US has frozen billions in Afghan funds

On Tuesday, the Taliban-led government called on the US and the EU to lift sanctions on Afghanistan to ease the cash and food shortages the country is facing. Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said the issue was raised with US and EU officials during meetings in Doha.

“We urge world countries to end existing sanctions and let banks operate normally, so that charity groups, organizations, and the government can pay salaries to their staff with their own reserves and international financial assistance,” Muttaqi said, according to Afghanistan’s TOLO News.

After the Taliban takeover, the US froze billions in Afghan government reserves and is showing no signs that it will release the funds anytime soon. Some Taliban leaders are under US sanctions, which potentially makes anyone who does business with the new Afghan government a target for more US sanctions.

“Weakening the Afghan government is not in the interest of anyone because its negative effects will directly affect the world in the security sector and economic migration from the country,” Muttaqi said.

During talks with the Taliban in Doha over the weekend, the US agreed to give more aid to Afghanistan. But after the talks concluded, the US stressed that the engagement was not linked in any way to the US recognition of the Taliban-led government. For their part, the Taliban wants diplomatic relations with the US and other Western countries and has urged them to reopen their embassies in Kabul.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.