Taliban blasts west for keeping mum on Afghanistan dire situation

The Taliban warns Afghanistan is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. Meanwhile, representatives of the new rulers of Afghanistan, attending talks with the EU and US officials in Doha, say the west is keeping silent over the Taliban request to unfreeze Afghan assets.

Afghanistan is on the verge of a major humanitarian catastrophe, and Western countries continue to talk about separate issues, such as the education of women, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem told Sputnik.

Representatives for the U.S., U.K. and several other western nations had opted to keep quiet about the Taliban’s ongoing request to unfreeze Afghan assets, he said.

Western countries refused to respond to the Taliba’s request to unfreeze foreign Afghan assets in Western banks, the spokesperson noted.

“Today, the Afghan government delegation met with representatives of the United States and about 15 European countries, including Norway, Italy, Germany, France, the UK, Sweden. We discussed well-known problems — human rights, women’s rights, the creation of a safe corridor for entry and exit from the country, as well as unfreezing Afghan foreign assets, which are the money of the people,” he added.

“It is the right of the people to return this money. However, we have not received any answer yet, they are silent and do not give us any answer. They mention the provision of humanitarian aid for certain amounts, but that’s all temporary solutions,” Naeem stated.

The Afghan delegation, which included members of the new government, made its first overseas visit to Qatar.

According to the spokesman, there is a difference between humanitarian and political issues, but ordinary people should not suffer from problems in politics.

According to the Taliban government, about $9-$10 billion of Afghan funds have been frozen in Western banks.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price weighed in on the topic of Afghan assets on Tuesday, telling reporters during a news briefing that the US will make a decision regarding Afghanistan’s financial reserves on the basis of the future government’s conduct.

“When it comes to central bank reserves,… we will judge and interact with any future Afghan government on the basis of its conduct and its conduct in… key areas,” Price said during a press briefing.

The Joe Biden administration has decided to freeze billions of dollars of Afghanistan government reserves held in the US financial institutions to halt the Taliban from accessing these funds.

After the Taliban entered Kabul in mid-August, leading to the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund suspended financial aid to the new Afghan government. Their support accounted for nearly 75% of Afghanistan’s public expenditure. The United States has also frozen billions of dollars in assets belonging to the Afghan Central Bank.

Meantime, the Group of 20 (G20) has agreed to work together to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, even if it means having to coordinate efforts with the Taliban, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said after hosting an emergency summit.

The European Union opened the talks on Tuesday by pledging one billion euros ($1.2bn), which will go to urgent humanitarian needs and also to assist neighbouring countries taking in Afghans who have been fleeing since the Taliban took control of the country on August 15.

Meanwhile, Naeem stated the Taliban is not going to remove ministers from the government under threat of US and UN sanctions; it is carrying out purges in the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry from people who have stained themselves with crimes.

On Monday, it was reported that the Afghan interim government held a meeting at which it was decided to expel “unwanted persons” from positions in the Taliban government or the leadership of the movement. Details were not provided.

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