Wednesday January 19, 2022

Taliban urge US to unlock Afghan funds

January 15, 2022

KABUL: The Taliban on Friday urged Washington to heed a call by the United Nations chief to unlock Afghan funds frozen in the United States, as a humanitarian crisis deepens.US authorities froze billions of dollars in Afghan assets after the hardline Islamists seized power in August following the withdrawal of foreign forces. On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Washington to take the lead and prevent "the nightmare unfolding in Afghanistan" by releasing capital.

"The United States must respond positively to the international voice and release Afghan capital," Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter. Washington has taken control of nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have suspended activities in Afghanistan, withholding aid as well as $340 million in new reserves issued by the IMF in August.