Taliban govt asks US to lift sanctions, invest in Afghanistan

Balkhi urges Congress to view sanctions on Afghanistan through 'prism of justice'

News Desk November 17, 2021
PHOTO: Al Jazeera

Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi on Wednesday urged the United States government to lift sanctions on Afghanistan and unfreeze its foreign exchange reserves to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

In a statement, the spokesperson said 2021 will mark the "centennial of relations between Afghanistan and America".

"Without any doubt, the two-decades war after October 7, 2001, cast a shadow over relations of American and Afghan people, but fortunately, the end result of this long war was guaranteed and resolved through a bilateral [Doha] agreement."

Balkhi said the Taliban were interested in "establishing positive relations with all world governments, including the American administration".

He said, "Afghanistan now has everything available for growth and development, and the United States of America can also invest in the manufacturing, agriculture, and mining sectors of Afghanistan."

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Despite the Doha agreement, sanctions were imposed on Afghanistan, he said, asking the US to explain the "logic" behind the freezing of the assets.

"At a time when we have an excellent opportunity for positive relations, reaching for the option of sanctions and pressure cannot help improve our relations."

"We understand the concerns of the international community and America, and it is necessary for both sides to take positive steps in order to build trust," he added.

We are concerned that if the current situation prevails, the Afghan government and people will face problems and will become a cause for mass migration in the region and world which will consequently create further humanitarian and economic issues for the world.

The Taliban spokesperson urged the US Congress to view the issue through the prism of justice and approach the issue in a non-partisan manner.


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