China calls for end to sanctions on Afghanistan

TEHRAN, Sep. 23 (MNA) – China has called for sanctions on Afghanistan to be lifted and says its foreign exchange reserves should not be frozen to exert “political pressure” on the Taliban.

“Economic sanctions on Afghanistan must end,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during virtual talks with his Group of 20 counterparts on Thursday, according to South China Morning Post.

“The various unilateral sanctions or restrictions on Afghanistan should be lifted as soon as possible,” he said.

Wang also hit out at the move to freeze the Afghan central bank’s US$9.5 billion in reserves held in the United States.

“Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves are national assets that should belong to and be used by its own people, and not be used as a bargaining chip to exert political pressure on Afghanistan,” he said.

China’s foreign minister also called on the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and others to release Afghan government accounts “as soon as possible” and provide economic aid to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has long been dependent on foreign aid – it accounted for about 43 per cent of the country’s GDP last year, according to the World Bank. But with funds drying up since the Taliban took power, the country is on the brink of economic collapse and its humanitarian crisis is worsening, with the UN World Food Programme warning that one in three Afghans are facing food insecurity.

KI/PR

News Code 178993

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