Washington: We moved quickly to ensure humanity in Afghanistan

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The United States said on Wednesday it had moved “quickly” to ensure that no US or international sanctions against Kabul impeded humanitarian activity in Afghanistan.

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This came in a statement to the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield.

During a current session of the UN Security Council on “The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security”.

Greenfield said her country “has moved quickly to ensure that no sanctions imposed by us or the international community to support security and stability in Afghanistan do not impede humanitarian activity.”

And in the middle of last August, the “Taliban” movement took control of Afghanistan completely, in parallel with a US military withdrawal from the country that was completed at the end of the same month.

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The countries of the world are still reluctant to recognize the rule of the “Taliban” and link this to the behavior of the movement, especially respect for human rights and not allowing “terrorists” to operate in the country.

“Last December, the US Treasury issued three new general licenses,” Greenfield said.

It is expanding the issuance of existing licenses to facilitate the continued flow of vital humanitarian assistance and the basic needs of the Afghan people.”

Under these licenses, the partners are allowed to operate and the necessary financial flows are facilitated.

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And she added: “The United States also submitted a resolution in the Security Council last month, which provided for humanitarian exemption from the sanctions regime imposed on the Taliban since 1988.”

Regarding the liquidity crisis in Afghanistan, Greenfield said: “We continue to study various options to mitigate the liquidity crisis.

But in the end, a functioning Afghan economy will require an independent and efficient central bank that meets international banking standards.”

“Central Bank of Afghanistan reserves held in the United States are currently the subject of ongoing lawsuits,” she said.

We acknowledge the calls to examine the availability of these reserves to help the Afghan people.”

After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Washington froze more than $9 billion in Afghan foreign assets.

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At the beginning of the session, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that “failing to act at the present time to provide assistance to the Afghan people will cost the international community and the region a heavy price.”

“There is a risk that the Afghan state will lose 30 percent of its gross domestic product this year,” he said.

Sanctions and mistrust on the part of the global banking system have also frozen $9 billion in central bank reserves.

Guterres called for “financial institutions and trading partners to be given legal guarantees that they can work with humanitarian workers without fear of violating sanctions.”

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He stressed “the importance of keeping the Afghan economy away from the brink, and finding ways to free up frozen currency reserves.”