Taliban Vows Taking Every Legal Step Possible to Lift US Asset Freeze

After declaring Afghanistan an Islamic Emirate and formed all-male acting Taliban government in the country, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen announced on Monday that the government will attempt to unfreeze Afghan central bank’s assets blocked by the US by taking every legal step possible.

Suhail Shaheen told Sputnik the US should lift the freeze of the assets that are the money of the people of Afghanistan that has a lot of economic problems, stressing that the measure is against the people of Afghanistan.

In the wake of Taliban’s entering Kabul and thus completing their takeover of Afghanistan, the US has frozen nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank (DAB) so it will not be available to the Taliban-led government, which remains on the Treasury Department’s sanctions designation list.

A sizeable portion of those assets is in accounts with the New York Federal Reserve and US-based financial institutions with around $7 billion held as a mixture of cash, gold, bonds and other investments.

The US also stopped shipments of cash to the nation as it tries to keep a Taliban from accessing the money so with vast majority of DAB’s assets not currently held in Afghanistan, the amount of cash remaining available physically in DAB vaults to the new Afghan authorities is close to zero.

DAB was reliant on obtaining physical shipments of cash every few weeks given Afghanistan’s large current account deficit.

At the same time, the World Bank has also halted aid to Afghanistan in mid-August with its spokesperson Marcela Sanchez-Bender explaining that disbursements in their operations in Afghanistan have been paused and that they’re closely monitoring and assessing the situation in line with their internal policies and procedures.

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