• August 17, 2021

The Biden administration prohibits the Taliban from accessing billions of Afghan reserves in US bank accounts.

Members of the Taliban forces sit at a checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 17, 2021. (Stringers / Reuters)

The Biden administration froze Afghan government reserves deposited in US bank accounts on Sunday, cutting off the Taliban’s access to billions of dollars. A substantial portion of the $ 9.4 billion Afghanistan’s central bank has in reserve assets is currently in the United States.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and officials from the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control led the account suspensions, two sources familiar with the move said. Washington Post.

As an administration official explained in a statement to the Mail, “Any Central Bank assets that the Afghan government has in the United States will not be available to the Taliban.”

Since the Taliban insurgents toppled the Afghan regime, the Biden administration has been repeatedly asked how it can guarantee the delivery of humanitarian aid without cooperating and recognizing the terrorist organization as a legitimate government entity. Afghanistan, an extremely impoverished country, relies heavily on American financial assistance and economic support.

The United States also subsidizes the Afghan military. US law authorizes the allocation of money to Afghan defenses if the defense secretary “certifies to Congress that the Afghan forces are controlled by a representative civilian government that is committed to protecting human rights and women’s rights.” Beyond blocking access to monetary assets, the United States will also stop funding the Afghan military now that it has been replaced by the Taliban.

While the UN Security Council, in a unanimous resolution on Monday, called for the establishment of a new representative government in Afghanistan that would allow the full participation of women, it is questionable whether the Taliban, with their long history of egregious violations of human rights, they can fulfill that. Criteria.

In his address to the nation on Monday, President Biden promised to continue helping the Afghan people. “We will lead with our diplomacy, our international influence and our humanitarian aid,” he said.

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