US refuses to unfreeze Afghan funds – media — RT World News

Washington is said to have ruled out releasing any of the country’s $7 billion in financial assets it froze after the Taliban took over.

The administration of US President Joe Biden is said to have refused to release the assets of the Central Bank of Afghanistan worth $7 billion, deciding to keep the funds frozen due to concerns that the country is now ruled by the Taliban again. are harboring international terrorists.

Washington also suspended talks with the Taliban after previously noticing progress in the talks, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing US officials. The decision concerns the assets of the war-torn country that the Biden administration froze after the Taliban took over Afghanistan last year.

Refuse to release funds “Deal a blow to hopes of economic recovery in Afghanistan as millions face hunger” The WSJ said a year under Taliban rule. Just last week, a group of 70 prominent economists and academics from the US, UK and five other countries issued an open letter calling on Washington to release its assets, citing “The ongoing humanitarian and economic disaster in Afghanistan” and the role of America “control” those crises.

“We do not see recapitalization of the Central Bank of Afghanistan as a short-term option,” he said. Thomas West, the US State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan, told the WSJ. “We do not believe that organization has the safeguards and oversight in place to manage assets responsibly.”

The presence of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed by US forces late last month in a drone strike in Kabul, has helped determine the fate of Afghan assets. The seemingly comfortable arrival of the senior terrorist in Afghanistan’s capital has raised concerns in Washington that the return of the Taliban to power has allowed Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to regroup in the country, setting the stage for attacks. work abroad.

“Needless to say, the Taliban’s cover for Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri reinforces the profound concerns we have regarding the diversion of funds to terrorist groups.” West said.

Much of the nearly $10 billion in assets of the Central Bank of Afghanistan were frozen abroad after the Taliban took control of the country a year ago. The US controls the majority of those funds, about $7 billion, and has been negotiating with the Taliban to release about $3.5 billion for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan. Biden signed an order in February to set aside the remaining $3.5 billion as a fund for the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

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