Taliban warn US, EU of refugees if Afghan sanctions continue

Oct 13, 2021: Afghanistan’s new Taliban government has warned US and European ambassadors that continued efforts to put pressure on them through sanctions could undermine security and lead to a wave of economic refugees.

The US and European envoys have been warned by Afghanistan’s new Taliban government that continued attempts to pressure them through sanctions will undermine security and could trigger a wave of economic refugees.

Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi told Western diplomats during talks in Doha that it is not in anyone’s interest to weaken the Afghan government because its negative effects are direct on the world (security sector) as economic migration from the country will affect the whole world.

The Taliban overthrew Afghanistan’s former US-backed government in August after two decades of conflict, declaring the Islamic Emirate a government under the Islamic Movement’s interpretation of religious law.

But efforts to stabilize the country, which is still facing Islamic State-Khorasan chapter attacks, have been weakened by international sanctions: banks run out of cash and government employees go unpaid.

According to his spokesman, Muttaqi told the Doha meeting: “We urge the international community to lift existing sanctions and allow banks to operate as normal so that welfare groups, organizations and the government can pay their staff.”

European countries in particular are concerned that if the Afghan economy collapses, large numbers of migrants will flee to the continent, putting pressure on neighboring states such as Pakistan and Iran, and ultimately the borders of the European Union.

Washington and the European Union have said they are ready to support humanitarian action in Afghanistan, but are wary of providing direct assistance to the Taliban without any guarantees, on human rights, especially women’s rights.

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