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Taliban warns the US indirectly citing Biden actions

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They criticize Biden’s decision and stress that “the 9/11 attacks have nothing to do with Afghans”

The Taliban’s Afghan authorities have threatened to “change their policy” towards the US if Washington continues to withhold funds from the Afghan Central Bank, and have urged the US administration to reconsider its decision.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden ordered the unfreezing of approximately $3.5 billion in assets, with another $3.5 billion going to a fund devoted to the ongoing litigation of the victims of terrorism in the US, particularly the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Afghans say in a statement that Biden has “frozen” assets from Afghanistan that were deposited in banks in his country, against all international norms, and now he wants to seize them.

“The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns Biden’s unwarranted decision as a violation of the rights of all Afghans. The 9/11 attacks have nothing to do with Afghans,” the statement, twitted and released by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Any seizure of the Afghan people’s properties under the pretext of this tragedy is a flagrant violation of the agreement established with the Islamic Emirate, the Taliban have warned, adding, this is an attempt to hide 20 years of crimes committed in Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate has threatened to reevaluate its stance toward the US if Washington does not shift from its position and return funds “unconditionally”.

Hundreds of people demonstrated in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, during the day on Tuesday to oppose Biden’s decision, according to the Afghan news agency Jaama Press.

In the face of the “increasingly deepening” threat of a “potential economic collapse” in Afghanistan, Biden’s decision is intended to address “the widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and cover its urgent needs for food security, water, sanitation, health, hygiene, housing and settlement assistance, and assistance related to COVID-19.”

These $7 billion comprise foreign currency, bonds and even gold, accumulated during the last 20 years as surplus economic aid provided by the United States and other countries to the Afghan government, and are considered a kind of “emergency fund”. Part of this amount, some $500 million, serves as physical collateral for Afghans’ deposits in their local banks.

The Taliban have been demanding control of this money since they completed their conquest of the country on August 15, but facing them is a group of relatives of the victims of 9/11, who have managed to win lawsuits against the fundamentalist group in which they asked the US government to seize these assets, although some of the families involved in the proceedings recommend, recalls ‘The New York Times’, that these funds at stake go directly to the recovery of the Afghan families.

Image Credit: Getty

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