Biden plans to lift sanctions on assets held by former Afghan government: Reports

President Joe Biden received widespread criticism for his administration’s abrupt and chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan earlier this year.

Now, the White House is reportedly indicating that it plans to relax financial sanctions and unfreeze assets in a move critics say will benefit the Taliban, which has since exerted control over the war-torn nation.

Reports signal effort to ease sanctions

The U.S. and other allied nations imposed restrictions on assets that had belonged to the Afghan government overthrown in the aftermath of the troop withdrawal.

According to Breitbart, progressive officials in the U.S. have joined several international organizations in pushing the Biden administration to relax those financial restrictions.

One Afghan news outlet reportedly cited evidence that the U.S. is preparing to ease sanctions in a bid to allow more financial and humanitarian aid to flow into the country.

That report came amid calls from the Organization for Islamic Cooperation and various United Nations-aligned groups warning of the dire situation in which millions of Afghan citizens are facing.

A separate Afghan news source provided quotes from U.S. Department of State spokesperson Ned Price, which seemed to support the narrative that Biden is preparing to take a more relaxed stance against the Taliban.

“Pragmatic U.S. engagement”

“The United States is the global leader in providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” Price said on Monday. “We have provided, since August, $208 million alone, we provided nearly $475 million over the course of this year.

He went on to assert that the Biden administration is “working with the various U.N. bodies … to find creative ways that we can infuse not only humanitarian aid but also liquidity into the Afghan economy.”

Meanwhile, the Taliban has been increasingly recognized as the de facto rulers of Afghanistan by nations including China, Iran, and Russia, with its members receiving direct financial assistance as a result.

In a letter to Biden, a group of at least four dozen Democrats called for the lifting of sanctions.

“We deplore the new Taliban government’s grave human rights abuses, crackdowns on civil society and repression of women and LGBTQ people,” they wrote. “However, pragmatic U.S. engagement with the de facto authorities is nevertheless key to averting unprecedented harm to tens of millions of women, children, and innocent civilians.”

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