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Taliban ask US Congress to unfreeze Afghan assets (Lead)

 
New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a letter to the US Congress asked for the release of Afghanistan's central bank assets frozen by the US government, Tolo News reported.

Muttaqi said that following the signing of the Doha Agreement, the Islamic Emirate and the US is no longer neither in direct conflict or in military opposition.

"It is quite surprising that with the announcement of the new government, the administration of the United States of America slapped sanctions on the assets of our Central Bank. This goes against our expectations as well as the Doha Agreement," the letter reads.

The letter reads that "currently the fundamental challenge of our people is financial security and the roots of this concern lead back to the freezing of assets of our people by the American government".

The letter says that the Islamic Emirate understand the concerns of the international community and the US, saying that freezing Afghanistan's assets cannot resolve any problem.

"We are of the belief that freezing Afghan assets cannot resolve the problem at hand neither is it the demand of the American people, hence your government must unfreeze our capital," the letter reads, the report added.

The foreign ministry in the letter said if the Afghan assets remain frozen, problems in Afghanistan will increase given that winter is fast approaching. It urged the US Congress and the US government to review its decision and release the assets.

"We are concerned that if the current situation prevails, the Afghan government and people will face problems and will become a cause for mass migration in the region and world which will consequently create further humanitarian and economic issues for the world," the letter reads.

The letter reads that the freeze of Afghan assets and the US sanctions are damaging Afghanistan's health, education and other civil services systems.

And that damaging these systems will harm common Afghans. The letter says that given the droughts, past wars, and Covid-19 impact, the sanctions and freezing of money may escalate the level of financial and economic problems in Afghanistan, the report said.

"In conclusion, I request the government of the United States of America take responsible steps towards addressing the humanitarian and economic crisis unfolding in Afghanistan so that doors for future relations are opened, assets of Afghanistan's Central Bank are unfrozen and sanctions on our banks are lifted," the letter reads.

The letter states that Afghanistan wants good relations with all countries, including the US.

--IANS
san/int/pgh