UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that the Afghan economy is on the brink of collapse following the US withdrawal and the uncertain future of the country’s new Taliban leaders.
Speaking at UN headquarters, Mr Guterres called on the international community to take immediate action to address the economic crisis, acknowledging the challenge of working with an extremist government. Breaks promises of respect for basic human rights of citizens.
“Right now, with assets frozen and development aid stopped, the economy is collapsing,” Mr Guterres said. Banks are closing and essential services such as healthcare are suspended in many places.
“I urge the world to take action and bring liquidity into the Afghan economy to avoid catastrophe,” he said.
International economic aid is one of the last checks on the Taliban, who seized power in Kabul in August after US and coalition troops left. The Biden administration has frozen the Afghan government’s nearly 10 10 billion in reserves, most of which is foreign aid to the United States earmarked for the US-backed government in Kabul. About half of the DP.
Ali Nazari, head of foreign relations for the National Resistance Front in Afghanistan, said the international community should be careful not to discourage the Taliban. The National Resistance Front, led by Ahmed Masood and based in Afghanistan’s remote Panjshir Valley, is the last remaining organized opposition to the Taliban in the country.
“The problem with aid is that there is no guarantee that it will go to the people of Afghanistan,” Mr Nazari said. “Because the Taliban themselves have little cash, the Taliban have not been able to feed their troops since last month, so the soldiers are going from house to house and asking people to feed them.”
Mr Nazari argued that any discussion of unlocking Taliban assets should be kept off the table.
“It’s not going to improve the economy,” Mr Nazari said. This will strengthen the Taliban. It will strengthen their hand. And that will allow them to work outside of Afghanistan. It is only fueling international terrorism and criminal activity.
But Mr Guterres warned that the world would face a major humanitarian crisis if the international community did not act quickly.
“It’s a make-or-break moment,” he said. If we do not help and assist the Afghans to deal with this storm and do so soon, not only they but the whole world will pay a heavy price.
Mr Guterres’s comments follow the first private meeting between the Biden administration and the Taliban over the weekend since the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in late August.
The U.S. delegation, which included Tom West, the State Department’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, and Sarah Charles, the Administrator’s Assistant for USAID’s Humanitarian Aid, met with Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar, to discuss “security and terrorism.” Concerns and safeguards were discussed. Significant participation of American citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners, as well as women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society, including human rights.
The topic of humanitarian aid was also raised during the talks, although some details were not provided. Taliban representatives left the meeting, saying Washington had agreed to resume some humanitarian aid, but they were reluctant to recognize the Taliban as the country’s legitimate new leader.
“The talks with the US delegation were clear and professional, reiterating that the Taliban would be judged by their actions, not by their words,” the State Department said.
Mr Guterres said it was important to keep up the pressure on the Taliban to live up to its human rights commitments, but that did not mean they would withhold much-needed economic aid.
“The Afghan people cannot suffer collective punishment because the Taliban are rude,” he said. People should not starve under any circumstances.
Mr Guterres also said he was not seeking international recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate government. Prior to meeting with the Taliban over the weekend, the State Department made it clear that the meeting was not about “recognition or legitimization” and that “any legitimacy was gained through the Taliban’s own actions.” Should go. ”
Still, Mr Nazari said the international community must be careful.
“We think the Taliban are being given too much, even if they are not recognized,” he said.
The Taliban know only one thing, he added, is destruction. “That’s what they were made for. They weren’t made for good governance. They weren’t made politicians.