Washington has reportedly ruled out releasing any of the $7 billion in the country’s financial assets that it froze after the Taliban takeover
Taliban fighters reportedly fired into the air to disperse a protest by women demanding «bread, work and freedom» on Saturday in Kabul. © Getty Images / Nava Jamshidi
US President Joe Biden’s administration has reportedly opted against releasing $7 billion in Afghan Central Bank assets, deciding to keep the funds frozen due to concern that the currently Taliban-ruled country is again harboring international terrorists.
Washington also has suspended talks with the Taliban after previously seeing progress in the negotiations, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing US officials. The decision concerns the war-torn country’s US-based assets, which Biden’s administration froze after last year’s Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
The refusal to release the funds “deals a blow to the hopes of an economic recovery in Afghanistan as millions face starvation” one year into the Taliban’s rule, the WSJ said. Just last week, a group of 70 prominent economists and academics from the US, UK and five other countries issued an open letter calling for Washington to release the assets, citing the “economic and humanitarian catastrophes unfolding in Afghanistan” and the role that America played in “driving” those crises.