US ‘urgently working’ to address concerns about frozen funds: Ned Price

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A spokesman for the US Department of State, Ned Price, said that the US is “urgently working to address concerns about the use of the licensed $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank reserves to ensure, to see to it, that they benefit the people of Afghanistan and not the Taliban. “

He made the remarks at a press conference in Washington.

“We’re working with Afghans, we’re working with local partners at the technical level, to address underlying macroeconomic issues, which will provide, we believe, necessary stability for the current humanitarian response to be more effective, and it will alleviate many of the issues that fueled the humanitarian crisis we see today,” Price told the reporters. ”So these talks are ongoing. As soon as we have an update, be happy to let you know.”

Meanwhile, the Islamic Emirate once again called for the release of the Afghan assets.

“The Afghan assets which are frozen by the US are the economic savings of Afghanistan which should be given back to the Afghans. We are trying to proceed using all mechanisms to unfreeze the assets,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

Meanwhile, dozens of residents of Khost province held demonstrations in the provincial capital to protest the freezing of Afghan bank assets, and they said that foreign countries committed war crimes in Afghanistan and should pay compensation.

“The US will not unfreeze our frozen assets so we can address our problems. The US and international community are responsible for the hunger and poverty in the country,” said Mohammad Rauf, a protestor.

“We call for its release. It is the right of the Afghans,” said Saif Nangial, a protestor.

The Afghanistan’s central bank has yet to comment in this regard.

Earlier, US President Joe Biden issued an executive order to move some $7 billion of the Afghan central bank’s assets frozen in the US banking system to fund humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and compensate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Meanwhile, Naseer A. Faiq, Chargé d’Affaires of the Afghan mission to the UN, in press release said that he has submitted an amicus brief to a US District Court in New York calling on the court to preserve Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves solely for the benefit of Afghan people.

Faiq added that the real owner of the money is the Afghan people, and that the Afghan money should not be given as compensation to the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

“The victims of 9/11 are owed justice and rightful compensation, but the Afghan people should not be the ones paying the price. These funds remain the property of the Afghan people, who are its rightful owners. No Afghan was involved in the 9/11 attacks, and they do not bear any legal or moral responsibilities for them.” The press release reads.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Emirate says that Afghan money should be fully released and made available to the Afghan people.

“Afghanistan’s money must be released without any kind of condition and should be given to Afghanistan because this money is the basic right of the Afghan people and in the current situation we need it more than any other time,” said Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.

With the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan, seven billion dollars of Afghan assets were frozen by the United States, which provoked domestic and international reactions.

“If this money is given to the United States, Afghan currency will lose its value against the dollar, and this will do serious damage to the Afghan economy,” said Ahmad Munib Rasa, a political analyst.

In February 2022, Joe Biden’s administration in a decree allocated $3.5 billion out of $7 billion in frozen Afghan money to be donated to the Afghan people through humanitarian aid.

US officials have previously said that a decision on another $ 3.5 billion will be made by a court in the United States.

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