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UK rushes to send aid to Afghanistan without violating sanctions | Afghanistan




The UK Foreign Ministry will hold an emergency meeting with banks, financial institutions and NGOs to clarify how to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan without violating US or UN counter-terrorism sanctions.

The Taliban’s takeover of the state, an internationally designated terrorist organization, has become a legitimate minefield for charities working to help its people.

The United Nations has imposed two sanctions resolutions against more than 130 Taliban members and five Taliban groups, including the entire Haqqani network.

The United States, as an organization, has long imposed broader sanctions against the Taliban, raising questions about how banks and other financial channels can send aid to Afghanistan without risking a violation of the US Treasury’s punishment.

A senior foreign ministry official said: We need to focus on the technology that is possible, so we are trying to find a solution to get humanitarian aid in Afghanistan. We talk to our international partners several times a day about the best solution.

The official predicted that finding a safe, legal and transparent payment option for Afghanistan would be a complex task.

The UK government will convene a meeting of UK NGOs and financial institutions next week to train the process of finding solutions, including possible exemptions.

Emanuela-Chiara Gillard, an associate research fellow at the Chatham House International Law Programme, said Thursday that the UN Security Council had never targeted the Taliban. Instead, it lists individuals, groups, businesses and entities associated with the Taliban. Currently, the list includes 135 individuals and 5 legal entities, 4 of which are hawalas currency exchange offices and the other is the Haqqani network.

Some of these people are currently working in Afghanistan, but few are involved in refugees or humanitarian work.

The EU and UK sanctions follow the UN’s designation, but the US has designated the Taliban as a terrorist organization, and anyone involved in the Taliban is subject to sanctions and asset freezes.

Gillard said it was essential for the US to issue a broad distribution exempting aid to Afghanistan.

UN financial sanctions require states to freeze the assets of designated individuals and groups and ensure that funds, financial assets or economic resources are not available directly or indirectly.




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