Kabul: US President Joe Biden’s administration will press ahead with talks on releasing billions of dollars in Afghanistan’s frozen assets despite the late al Qaeda leader’s presence in Kabul, American sources have said.
The decision to pursue the initiative to help stabilize Afghanistan’s collapsed economy underscores growing concern in Washington over a humanitarian crisis as the United Nations warns that nearly half the country’s 40 million people face “acute hunger” as winter approaches, Reuters reported.
At the core of the US-led effort is a plan to transfer billions in foreign-held Afghan central bank assets into a proposed Swiss-based trust fund. Disbursements would be made with the help of an international board and bypass the Taliban, many of whose leaders are under US and UN sanctions.
Previously, “Wall Street Journal” quoted “Tom West”, the US special representative for Afghanistan, that the Central Bank of Afghanistan does not have the protection and supervision to manage these assets.
He also said that, the Taliban’s harboring of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri reinforces US concerns about the diversion of funds to terrorist organizations.