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US says, won't unfreeze Afghan foreign assets

US says, wont unfreeze Afghan foreign assets

New Delhi: Amidst the acute cash crunch suffered by the interim government in Afghanistan, and the US holding substantial foreign assets of the country, Washington says it still sticks to its stance on the Taliban and will not release nearly ten billion dollars of Afghanistan now frozen in the US banks, Khaama Press reported.

US's deputy minister of Finance Wally Adeyemo justified its stance that the step is necessary to keep pressure on the Taliban, but all the same added that the people of Afghanistan should not be harmed. Adeyemo said that new means must be sought in order to provide Afghan people with humanitarian aid.

"We will not let the Taliban access the money in an ongoing situation. We will continue to assert our restrictions on Haqqani network and the Taliban, but will continue humanitarian aid to Afghan people," said Adeyemo to senators.

Amidst calls for humanitarian aid flow to the cash-strapped country beleagured country facing the threat of hunger and imminent winter, he said that the US is committed to providing Afghans with humanitarian aid, but reiterated that the Taliban must facilitate the distribution process.

The Taliban have used a number of diplomatic channels to release the frozen assets, but with no success so far.

Taliban have demanded the US to release the money and 'not to violate human rights as the money belongs to the people of Afghanistan not to any government'.

The International Monetary Fund in its latest regional economic report said that the freeze of Afghanistan's assets along with the stoppage of foreign aid will lead to a 30 per cent shrink in the economy of the country which will cause a humanitarian crisis.

(Based on IANS feed with minor edits)

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