Biden Says 'Yes' When Asked If He Would Mull Sanctions Against Taliban, Depending on Their Behavior
20:46 GMT 22.08.2021 (Updated: 21:45 GMT 22.08.2021)
The Taliban* is on the SDGT designation list, which means financial sanctions are possible against the group. However, the Pentagon earlier threatened to place them on the State Dept's Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list, suggesting "a stick and … a carrot" approach to pressure the movement to adhere to international norms.
US President Joe Biden has answered in the affirmative when asked if Washington could consider introducing sanctions against the Taliban, adding that it depends on the context.
By the context, the president apparently meant that he expects the Islamists to act in accordance with international law to avoid economic pressure.
"So far, the Taliban has not taken action against US forces. So far, they have, by and large, followed through on what they said in terms of allowing Americans to pass through and the like."
The group has been placed on the international terrorist list by the United Nations in UNSCR 1267.
When asked if he trusts the Taliban, Biden replied (apparently sarcastically), "I don't trust anybody, including you."
The Taliban took over Kabul on Sunday, which has reportedly come as a surprise for Biden and the US intelligence. Pentagon chief Austin said on Sunday that no one had in fact expected such a swift the fall of Kabul, deemed largely as a great failure on the part of the Biden administration, combined with the evacuation issues.
© AP Photo / Zabi KarimiTaliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
© AP Photo / Zabi Karimi
The Taliban have expressed a desire to have friendly relations with all countries, including the US, and called on the international community to recognize them as a legitimate power in Afghanistan.
"The world should not be afraid of us. We must be recognized," the movement's spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Thursday.
This comes amid speculation that the US would eventually recognize the Taliban, as the Secretary of State Antony Blinken did acknowledge on Sunday that Washington should deem the movement as "the reality" the US has to deal with.
* A terrorist organization banned in Russia