Taliban Not Going to Remove Ministers From Government Under Sanctions Threat - Spokesman
00:06 GMT 13.10.2021 (Updated: 20:36 GMT 19.10.2022)
DOHA (Sputnik) - The Taliban* is not going to remove ministers from the government under threat of US and UN sanctions; it is carrying out purges in the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry from people who have stained themselves with crimes, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem told Sputnik on Tuesday.
On Monday, it was reported that the Afghan interim government held a meeting at which it was decided to expel "unwanted persons" from positions in the Taliban government or the leadership of the movement. Details were not provided.
Explaining the concept of "unwanted persons," Naeem emphasized that the possible expulsion of its members from the cabinet under US or UN sanctions was a "misinterpretation."
"There are employees in the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry who stole money from people, committed crimes, and after that said that they belong to the Taliban, they need to be removed from the ranks of these ministries so that they do not cast a shadow on the movement, but this is not about ministers in the government," he explained.
The spokesperson's remarks came shortly after a meeting in Qatar with the EU delegation.
Release of Afghan Assets
Naeem had earlier detailed that representatives for the US, UK and several other Western nations had opted to keep quiet about the Taliban's ongoing request to unfreeze Afghan assets.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price weighed in on the topic of Afghan assets on Tuesday, tellings reporters during a news briefing that the US will make a decision regarding Afghanistan’s financial reserves on the basis of the future government’s conduct.
"When it comes to central bank reserves,… we will judge and interact with any future Afghan government on the basis of its conduct and its conduct in… key areas," Price said during a press briefing.
The Biden administration has decided to freeze billions of dollars of Afghanistan government reserves held in the US financial institutions to halt the Taliban from accessing these funds.
After the Taliban entered Kabul in mid-August, leading to the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund suspended financial aid to the new Afghan government. Their support accounted for nearly 75% of Afghanistan's public expenditure. The United States has also frozen billions of dollars in assets belonging to the Afghan Central Bank.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries.