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

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

Washington, Aug 15 (Globe Live Media) .- The United States rules out for now releasing the blocked funds from the Afghan central bank because it considers that the Taliban gave shelter to the leader Al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, who died in July in a US drone attack in Kabul .

“We do not see the recapitalization of the funds of the Afghan central bank as an option in the short term,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference on Monday.

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

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

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

The Government of Joe Biden keeps 7,000 million dollars in funds from the Afghan central bank blocked, of which it intends to allocate 3,500 million for the families of the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the other 3,500 for humanitarian funds for Afghanistan.

On July 28, a US delegation met in Uzbekistan with Taliban representatives to discuss the release of these resources, but on July 31, the United States killed Al Zawahiri in a drone attack in the Afghan capital.

Before the Taliban seized power just a year ago, the Afghan central bank had deposited $9 billion abroad.

Of those 9,000 million, 7,000 are in the US and the rest in other countries, such as Switzerland, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the UN, Afghanistan is facing a huge humanitarian disaster, largely due to the blockade of funds and much of the foreign aid decreed in response to the Taliban’s seizure of power, which are subject to international sanctions.

Ben Oakley
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