Afghanistan wants more Taliban off blacklist

Afghan urged the UNSC to remove additional members of the Taliban from its sanctions blacklist.

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010, 10:55 AM IST

United Nations: Afghanistan urged the UN
Security Council to remove additional members of the Taliban
from its sanctions blacklist, a move it has sought to promote
a political solution to the nine-year Afghan war.

Afghanistan`s UN Ambassador Zahir Tanin said the decision
to remove 10 Taliban members from the list this year by the
council committee monitoring sanctions against the Taliban and
al Qaeda "will benefit Afghanistan`s peace and reconciliation
initiative."

With reconciliation and reintegration of former
combatants with no links to terrorism "critical for achieving
lasting peace and security," Tanin urged the sanctions
committee to also give "due consideration" to other names
submitted by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The sanctions committee "delisted" five Taliban members
early this year and in July, it removed five more members --
but Afghan officials had submitted 10 names for consideration,
according to Staffan De Mistura, the top UN envoy in
Afghanistan.

Karzai has been making peace overtures to members of the
Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan for five years before it was
driven out in the US-led invasion at the end of 2001. The
Taliban have long demanded removal from the sanctions list to
help promote reconciliation.

Tanin spoke at an open Security Council meeting reviewing
terrorism-related sanctions where he called Afghanistan "the
number one victim of international terrorism," saying "the
enemy we face is part of a complex and sophisticated network
with safe havens and sanctuaries in our region from which
terrorists still enjoy support."

"Afghanistan remains alarmed at the presence of these
support centers, and reiterates that unless they are
addressed, the terrorism which has been raging like wildfire
will regrettably continue," he said.

PTI