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Unfreeze Afghan assets abroad, neighbour Uzbekistan says By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Uzbek President Shavkat Mikziyoyev attended a news conference in Tashkent with Kassym Jomart Tokayev, Uzbekistan on April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev urged other nations on Friday to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets kept in foreign banks to facilitate dialogue with the Taliban government in Kabul.

U.S. President Joe Biden said that the Taliban will not have access to any Central Bank assets in Afghanistan. This was in response to the Taliban taking over in Afghanistan.

The International Monetary Fund stated that Afghanistan would not be able to access the bank’s resources.

Mirziyoyev, whose border is Afghanistan, demanded talks with the China-Russia-led Security bloc Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. He also called for an end to extremism and for a ceasefire between the Taliban.

He said that unfreezing assets from Afghanistan could be a way to achieve these goals.

He said, “Aware of the humanitarian crisis, we suggest looking at the possibility to lift the ban on Afghanistan’s foreign bank accounts.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke via videolink at the same meeting. However, he did not address any specific steps but called for closer contacts between the SCO-Kabul.

They met in Tajikistan which is a former Soviet republic on the border with Afghanistan. They said their leaders were starting to process Iran’s acceptance into the group, which also includes India as well as Pakistan.

In a speech at the same meeting, Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, called for economic support for Afghanistan.

It is urgent that we prevent an economic crisis, as well as a humanitarian crisis. “We must not forget that the former government was heavily dependent on foreign assistance and their removal could result in economic collapse,” he stated.

We believe that positive engagement by the international community in Afghanistan’s future is crucial.

The Taliban need to create an inclusive structure political that would include representation from all ethnic groups. This will prevent Afghan soil being used for international militant activities.

Pakistan had close ties with Taliban, and was accused of helping the Taliban fight the U.S. government in Kabul for twenty years. Islamabad denied these charges.

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