Taliban Welcomes UN Chief’s Call to Lift Ban on Afghanistan’s Assets

People line up in front of a bank in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, Aug. 31, 2021. (Photo by Kabir/Xinhua/IANS)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the US and the World Bank to unfreeze Afghan funds to prevent “the nightmare unfolding in Afghanistan” from getting worse.

KABUL — The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has welcomed the remarks of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling on the US to lift a ban on the war-torn country’s assets.

“We appreciate the UN Secretary General’s call for the release of Afghan capital from the US,” Xinhua news agency quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying in a tweet on Friday.

As a result of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan in August 2021, the US froze over $9 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank as well as a halt in funds by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The lack of funds has caused an economic collapse and an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

On Thursday, Guterres urged the US and the World Bank to unfreeze Afghan funds to prevent “the nightmare unfolding in Afghanistan” from getting worse.

Mujahid noted that such a position would benefit the UN’s impartiality and the prestige of this important international organisation on the rights of nations.

The US must respond positively to the international voice and release frozen Afghan assets.

Earlier this week, the UN and its partners launched a more than $5 billion funding appeal for Afghanistan, in the hope of shoring up collapsing basic services there, which have left 22 million people in need of assistance inside the country, and 5.7 million requiring help beyond its borders. 

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