Afghanistan forced to 'reconsider' policy towards US if assets not freed: Taliban

AFP , Monday 14 Feb 2022

Afghanistan will be forced to reconsider its policy towards the United States unless Washington reverses a decision to freeze part of the country's assets as compensation for victims of the September 11 attacks, the Taliban said Monday.

Afghanistan is in the grips of an economic crisis and Washington is seeking ways to assist while also side-stepping the country s hardline Islamist Taliban leaders. AFP

"The 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with Afghanistan. If the United States does not deviate from its position and continues its provocative actions, the Islamic Emirate will also be forced to reconsider its policy towards the country," the Taliban deputy spokesman said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Last Friday US President Joe Biden seized $7 billion in assets belonging to the previous Afghan government, aiming to split the funds between victims of September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, and desperately needed aid for post-war Afghanistan.

The move drew an angry response from the country's new Taliban leaders, which branded the seizure a "theft" and a sign of US "moral decay."

On Monday they went further, saying: "Any misappropriation of the property of the Afghan people under the pretext of this incident is a clear violation of the agreement reached with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," the Taliban's name for the country.

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