UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for exceptions in the sanctions regime against the Taliban in order to facilitate interaction with them.
Asked if he considers it appropriate at some point to exclude the Taliban from the list of terrorist organizations, Guterres noted that the organization’s member countries will decide when the right moment will come.
At the same time, the official recalled that he advocates a flexible approach and pointed to precedents in the past.
“As you know, the Americans asked for some exceptions for their own negotiations with the Taliban. So I believe that we must create conditions <…> and ensure the effective distribution of humanitarian aid,” the UN Secretary General stressed.
In August, militants launched an offensive against Afghan government forces and captured all major regions, including Panjshir, which has long been a hotbed of resistance. The events unfolded against the backdrop of the withdrawal of the American contingent: on the night of August 21, the military left the Kabul airport, putting an end to the almost 20-year US presence in the republic.
In September, the Taliban formed an interim government headed by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, who served as foreign minister during the first Taliban * rule and has been under UN sanctions since 2001.
The movement was recognized as a terrorist organization in 2001, and more than 110 of its representatives were under sanctions. The Russian president’s special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said earlier that the procedure for their removal from the lists could be launched after the start of meaningful inter-Afghan negotiations.
The US said that it will not lift existing sanctions on the Taliban, but it will ensure lifesaving humanitarian aid to vulnerable Afghans amid what the United Nations describes as “a looming crisis” in the country.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged to continue humanitarian aid to the Afghan people through United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations, a day after the United States said it would provide nearly $64 million in new humanitarian assistance.
The new U.S. assistance, which would bypass the Taliban and be distributed directly to Afghans, brings the total U.S. assistance to the Afghan people to $330 million this fiscal year.
The U.N. is appealing for $606 million for the remainder of this year for food, health care, shelter and other vital needs to assist 11 million people.
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