Taliban forced to 'reconsider' policy toward US if assets not unfrozen
The United States stole funds from Afghanistan after blocking funds from the poverty-stricken country.
Afghanistan will have to reconsider its policy toward Washington unless the United States reverses its decision to freeze part of Kabul's assets as compensation for victims of the September 11 attacks, the Taliban said Monday.
"The 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with Afghanistan," the Taliban insisted.
"If the United States does not deviate from its position and continues its provocative actions, the Islamic Emirate will also be forced to reconsider its policy towards the country," the new Afghan administration stressed, in a nod to its adoption of a more lenient approach toward the West following its seizure of Kabul and becoming the rulers of the country.
US President Joe Biden seized Friday $7 billion in assets that had belonged to the former US-backed Afghan administration.
Biden argued that the money would go to the victims of the September 11 attacks and humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan.
The Taliban slammed this decision as theft and a reflection of the US' moral decline.
"The theft of blocked money belonging to the people of Afghanistan by the United States, as well as taking possession of it, is a showcase of the human and moral decline of the country and people," Taliban spokesperson Mohammad Naeem said Friday.
As a rebuttal, protesters who gathered outside Kabul's grand Eid Gah mosque demanded financial compensation for the tens of thousands of Afghans killed during the last 20 years of US occupation.
On Monday, however, the Taliban took a harder stance, saying, "Any misappropriation of the property of the Afghan people under the pretext of this incident is a clear violation of the agreement reached with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."
UN chief Antonio Guterres had urged the United States and the World Bank to take action and unfreeze the Afghan funds they have been holding since the Taliban came back to power in the country bearing the brunt of the chaotic US withdrawal, nearing economic collapse as the West withholds the country's funds following an occupation that lasted 20 years.
Washington has frozen billions of dollars of assets, while aid supplies are being heavily disrupted and over half the population is on the brink of famine.