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Representative image of US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West. (Centre)
Representative image of US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West. (Centre)

US holds talks with Taliban on Afghan bank reserves

ANI | Updated: Jul 29, 2022 18:40 IST


Washington [US], July 29 (ANI): A US special envoy met senior Taliban representatives in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and discussed the issue of Afghan central bank reserves.
The discussion took place during meetings that took place after the conclusion of the Uzbekistan-hosted Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan on July 26.
"On July 27, Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West and Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson led a senior interagency delegation from the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury to continue discussions with senior Taliban representatives and technocratic professionals in Tashkent, Uzbekistan," US State Department said in a statement.
The US delegation has expressed the need to address the urgent humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
"The United States expressed the need to address the urgent humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The two sides discussed ongoing efforts to enable the USD 3.5 billion in licensed Afghan central bank reserves to be used for the benefit of the Afghan people. The United States underscored the need to accelerate the work on these efforts," the statement added.
After the Taliban seized the nation by force last year, the US froze Afghan reserves. The militants-turned-politicians are currently working to restore the nation's economy which has been ravaged by sanctions imposed and isolation.
Earlier, the Taliban had warned that it will 'reconsider' policy toward the US if it does not receive its full USD 7 billion frozen assets.

After the Taliban seized Kabul after toppling the democratic government, US President Joe Biden decided to split USD 7 billion of the frozen Afghan assets to fund humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and compensate victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Taliban-appointed acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani said that the ban on USD 7 billion in Afghanistan's assets was unjust and called on the US to release the assets.
Addressing a gathering in Khost province of Afghanistan, Haqqani said that the formation of an inclusive government will come into effect itself whenever "the western ideology" is removed from Afghanistan.
"Did they achieve anything over the past 20 years? Now, they have frozen the Afghans' assets and have taken revenge on a certain number of people. You fought against them for 20 years," Haqqani was quoted as saying by TOLOnews.
Haqqani said that the formation of an inclusive government takes a long time adding that the country should not wait for recognition and that essential steps needed to be taken, local media reported.
"We say don't shout for an inclusive government desperately. Be patient. Once the ideology of paganism is eliminated and Afghans are adjusted to their national and Islamic identity, the inclusivity will be ensured itself," he added.
Haqqani claimed that the country won't pose threat to any other countries and asked for similar engagement from them. (ANI)

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