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United Nations to end travel ban exemptions for 13 Taliban officials

The United Nations (UN) is to end the travel ban exemptions for 13 Taliban officials, pending any agreement by Security Council members on a possible extension, AFP has reported.

Under a UN Security Council resolution of 2011, 135 Taliban officials are subject to sanctions such as asset freezes and travel restrictions. However, 13 were granted exemptions from the travel ban to meet officials from other countries.

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UNSC’s Afghanistan Sanctions Committee removed two Taliban ministers from the exemption list in June.

They renewed the exemption for the others until August 19, plus an additional month if no member objected. However, according to reports, Ireland had objected the exemption.

China and Russia have emphasized on extension, while the United States (US) requested for a reduction in the number of officials who were allowed to travel and the destinations they could travel to.

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According to media reports, the latest proposal on the table would allow just six officials to travel for diplomatic reasons.

If no member of the UNSC objects by Monday afternoon, it will be in place for three months.

In the meanwhile, the exemptions for the 13 officials end at midnight on Saturday.

The 13 Afghans include Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sher Muhammad Abbas.

They were instrumental in negotiations with the US government of then-president Donald Trump which led to a deal in 2020, paving the way for America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.



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