Family members of 9/11 victims tell Biden frozen funds belong to Afghans

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77 family members of victims of 9/11 in a letter to US President Joe Biden wrote “the Afghanistan central bank funds currently being kept in New York belong to the Afghan people.”

They said that any use of the $7 billion to pay off 9/11 family member judgments is “legally suspect” and “morally wrong.”

“We ask you to use your executive power to modify your recent order and commit to the only legally and morally correct approach – affirming that all $7 billion of the Afghan central bank funds being kept in New York belong to the Afghan people,” the letter reads.

US State Dept spokesman Ned Price at a recent press conference said that $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank reserves were preserved for the benefit of the Afghan people.

“What we are focused on right now are the ongoing efforts to enable those funds, the $3.5 billion in licensed Afghan central bank reserves, to be used for the benefit of the Afghan people,” Price told the press conference. “And we’re seeking to find the best mechanism to ensure that those funds can go to the Afghan people in a way that doesn’t risk their diversion from the Taliban or other forces, including to potentially terrorist groups or terrorist actors.”

“The release of these assets via a proper, accurate and transparent mechanism to monitor the use of this money is a good step,” said Darya Khan, an economist.

Da Afghanistan Bank (central bank) said that the Afghan reserve should be directed to Afghanistan to provide economic and financial stabilization.

US President Joe Biden signed an executive order in February to free $7 billion in Afghan assets now frozen in the US, splitting the money between humanitarian aid for poverty-stricken Afghanistan and a fund for families of 9/11 victims still seeking relief for the attacks that killed thousands.

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