US rules out releasing Afghan funds over Taliban ties to Al Qaeda

The United States rules out the release of the frozen funds from the Central Bank of Afghanistan for now because it believes the Taliban gave shelter to Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri, who was killed in July in a US drone strike in Kabul.

“We do not see the recapitalization of Afghan Central Bank funds as a short-term option,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told a news conference on Monday.

The spokesperson said that Al Zawahiri’s presence on Afghan soil with the “knowledge” of the Taliban government “reinforces deep-seated concerns about the possible diversion of these funds to terrorist groups”.

Price specified, however, that the United States is looking for alternative mechanisms to bring these resources “efficiently to the Afghan people without being diverted to terrorists”.

“The end of our military operation in Afghanistan does not mean the end of our humanitarian mission”, highlighted.

Joe Biden’s government has blocked US$ 7 billion in funds from the Afghan Central Bank, of which it intends to allocate US$ 3.5 billion to the families of victims of the attacks of 11 of September 2001 and the other US$3.5 billion for humanitarian funds for Afghanistan.

In 2001 in July, a US delegation met in Uzbekistan with representatives of the Taliban to discuss releasing these resources, but shortly after, in 31 July, the US killed Al Zawahiri in a drone strike. in the Afghan capital.

Before the Taliban took power just a year ago, the Afghan Central Bank had deposited US$9 billion abroad.

Of this amount, US$ 7 billion is in the US and the rest in other countries, such as Switzerland, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the UN, Afghanistan faces a huge humanitarian disaster, largely due to the blockade funds and much of the foreign aid, enacted in response to the t taken from power by the Taliban, who are the target of international sanctions.

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