Taliban Seeks International Support for Removal of US Sanctions

The US maintains sanctions on the Taliban and has frozen billions in Afghan government reserves

The Taliban’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi asked for international support to lobby the US into lifting sanctions on Afghanistan during a meeting with the ambassadors and envoys of 14 countries in Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday.

“At the outset, Minister Muttaqi elaborated on the new Islamic government, ensuring security, ties with the international community, economic situation, sanctions imposed on Afghanistan, and elimination of corruption,” said Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi.

Muttaqi said the international community should “call on the US to remove sanctions on the Afghan people’s national wealth.” Since the US-backed Afghan government collapsed, the US has frozen billions in Afghan funds and still maintains sanctions on Taliban leaders.

According to Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, Muttaqi also said the new Afghan government is “responsible” and has fulfilled requirements for international recognition. Regional countries like Russia and China have kept their embassies open in Kabul and are engaging with the Taliban but are still holding out on formal recognition. Wednesday’s meeting in Doha was mostly attended by envoys from European countries.

Also on Wednesday, regional countries held a conference on Afghanistan in Tehran. Addressing the conference virtually, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Afghanistan’s neighbors against allowing a US or NATO military presence. Lavrov’s warning came amid rumors that the US is near a deal with Pakistan to use the country’s airspace to conduct operations in Afghanistan, a rumor that Islamabad denies.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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