UN Security Council ‘will not Lift’ Taliban Sanctions: Russian Envoy

Three months after the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement was signed in Doha, the UN Security Council (UNSC) was expected to vote to lift sanctions on the group. However, that will not be happening, Russia’s presidential envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov, told Anadolu Agency.

The issue will not be raised as some conditions stipulated in the peace deal have not been met yet.

“This [the lifting of sanctions] was supposed to be done by May 29 on condition that the inter-Afghan talks had to start by March 10, but they have not yet been launched.”

The Afghan government and the Taliban have also been in the process of exchanging prisoners after the Taliban’s calls for the three-day Eid ceasefire and that is another reason for the delay, Kabulov said.

“This process is being delayed due to the unfinished exchange of prisoners between the parties to the conflict and the absence of a negotiating team from Kabul, which was not formed due to differences between [Afghan President] Ashraf Ghani and [Ghani’s political rival] Abdullah Abdullah. But even after these politicians made an agreement on May 17, the Taliban declared its non-recognition.
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The lifting of sanctions would transform Taliban from “terrorist organization to a political structure” and then further integrate it within the country.

The Taliban leadership has managed to reduce violence within the country and control the situation within its ranks, Kabulov said. The seven-day period of reducing violence before signing the agreement with the U.S. is February was adhered to.

He expects the UNSC to put the issue into its agenda after the intra-Afghan negotiations start.

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