Taliban ask US to unfreeze Afghan financial assets during Doha talks
Group wants to engage with international community, says Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi
The Taliban have urged the United States to unfreeze Afghanistan’s central bank reserves, during the first in-person meeting in Qatar after the takeover of Kabul in August.
On Saturday, the two sides held their first meeting in Doha to turn a “new page on their relationship”. This is the first in-person meeting between the two sides since the US drawdown from Afghanistan in mid-August.
Taliban Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said that they want to engage with the international community and will not be in favour of one country and against the other one.
“The need to establish good positive relations with each other on an equal basis is being emphasized in the discussions. We stressed the need for unfreezing of Afghan financial assets in the wake of difficult circumstances facing Afghanistan,” the foreign minister said, as quoted by the Voice of America (VOA).
“We clearly told [the Americans] that nobody benefits from an unstable Afghanistan, so no one should try to weaken the current government of Afghanistan or fuel problems for our Afghan people who already are struggling economically,” Muttaqi said.
Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had put on hold funds to Afghanistan amid the rising uncertainty in the country.
The developments came after IMF recently announced a USD 650 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation for member countries, but Afghanistan at the moment will not be allowed to access these funds, Tolo News reported.
Last month, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said at a press conference that Afghanistan will not have access to this grant because of the uncertainty over Afghanistan’s government.
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