US grants licences for more aid flow to Afghanistan Taliban ask airlines to resume int’l flights

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Washington

The United States further paved the way for aid to flow to Afghanistan despite US sanctions on the Taliban, who seized control of the country last month, issuing general licences amid concern that Washington’s punitive measures could compound an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

The US Treasury Department said it issued two general licences, one allowing the US government, NGOs and certain international organisations, including the United Nations, to engage in transactions with the Taliban or Haqqani Network — both under sanctions —that are necessary to provide humanitarian assistance.

The second licence authorises certain transactions related to the export and re-export of food, medicine and other items.

“Treasury is committed to facilitating the flow of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and other activities that support their basic human needs,” Andrea Gacki, director of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement.

She added that Washington will continue to work with financial institutions, NGOs and international organisations to ease the flow of agricultural goods, medicine and other resources while upholding sanctions on the Taliban, Haqqani Network and others.

Meanwhile, the Taliban government in Afghanistan appealed on Sunday for international flights to be resumed, promising full cooperation with airlines and saying that problems at Kabul airport had been resolved.

The statement from the foreign affairs ministry comes as the new administration has stepped up efforts to open up the country and gain international acceptance following the collapse of the Western-backed government last month.– Reuters

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