Taliban ask US to release frozen bank balances

The Taliban has asked the United States to release Afghanistans frozen assets. The Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Chan Motaki said that to the Afghan news agency Bakhtar.

Taliban representatives and high-ranking US government representatives spoke today for the first time since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. That conversation was in Qatars capital Doha.

After the Taliban took over power in Afghanistan, some 9 billion dollars (7.78 billion euros) of foreign bank funds were frozen. The Taliban now wants that measure off the table, and they also asked for humanitarian aid in Doha again.

According to Motaki, the Americans have pledged help around the distribution of coronavirus vaccines. Washington hasnt commented on the talks yet.

No recognition regime

Previously, a US spokesman said that the talks should not be seen as an acknowledgement of the extremist regime. According to the sayman, that can only happen if the Taliban show that they are a reliable interlocutor.

It was particularly important for the US to talk about safe evacuation of American citizens, other foreigners and Afghans. In addition, Washington wanted to urge the Taliban not to make Afghanistan another free place for terrorist organisations like al-Qaeda.