The administration of US President Joe Biden might unfreeze Afghan assets but wants a ‘mechanism by which Afghanistan’s Central Bank will be able to partially use assets while erecting safeguards that would ensure the funds are not siphoned off for misuse by the Islamic Emirate’, the Washington Post reported, citing sources privy to the issue.
This comes as a delegation of the Islamic Emirate, led by the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, left Kabul on Wednesday for Doha.
“It would be accurate to say negotiations are underway,” said Shah Mehrabi, an economics professor at Montgomery College in Maryland and a senior member of Afghanistan’s Central Bank board since 2002, as quoted by the Washington Post. “We are in the process of trying to come up with a mechanism that will allow the transfer of reserves to the central bank of Afghanistan.”
The Islamic Emirate said that its delegation in Qatar would meet with the US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West and officials from the US Department of Treasury.
“The delegation will hold talks with (Thomas West) the US Special envoy for Afghanistan, and US Department of Treasury officials on political, economic, and banking issues,” said Zia Ahmad Takal, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Central Bank said that efforts are underway to unfreeze the Afghan assets.
“The Afghanistan Bank welcomes any steps which are aimed at releasing Afghan assets. These assets belong to the people of Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Sabir Momand, a spokesman for the Central Bank.