UN fails to reach consensus over travel ban exemption for Taliban

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The UN Security Council failed to reach agreement on whether to extend travel exemptions for 13 Taliban officials now ruling Afghanistan so they will expire at midnight Friday, the Associated Press report said.

Members of the United Nations Security Council have not come to a final decision regarding the extension of the travel exemption for some Taliban officials.

According to the Associated Press, the United States of America, China, and Russia have differing views on whether the United Nations Security Council should extend travel exemptions for some Taliban leaders.

“The divided U.N. Security Council failed to reach agreement on whether to extend travel exemptions for 13 Taliban officials now ruling Afghanistan so they will expire at midnight Friday,” AP’s report reads.

Diplomats from the UN said that the US has suggested a travel ban for seven Kabul officials and a limited extension of the travel exemption for six other officials to Qatar.

“With the expiration of travel waivers for the remaining 13 Taliban officials looming, the United State on Thursday proposed re-imposing the travel ban on seven of them and keeping the exemption for six others, but limiting their travel only to Qatar, where US-Taliban talks have taken place, council diplomats said,” the report reads.

UN diplomats added that Russia and China want to allow all 13 to continue to travel while the US and Western nations are determined to cut the number to protest the Taliban government’s rollback of women’s rights and failure to form an inclusive government as it promised.

Russia and China made a rival proposal that all 13 Taliban officials be granted travel exemptions for 90 days, but only to go to Russia, China, Qatar and “regional countries,” the diplomats said as quoted by AP.

According to the AP report, the travel ban will be restored on all 13 Kabul’s officials until Monday afternoon at the earliest when Russia and China must now respond to the US proposal.

“The decision that will be made this time will not be based on unity because the Chinese and Russians want end to sanctions and extension of exemption but other countries including the US have some conditions,” said Wais Nasiri, a political analyst. “Although, the US doesn’t want its ties to be cut with the Taliban and ban on their travel but it wants to put some conditions.”

“If this (travel ban) exemption happens, it will be for a short time,” said Sayed Noorullah Raghi, a former diplomat.

But the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the UN said that the final decision about the travel exemption for Taliban officials will be made on Monday.

“The final proposal has been shared with the members for the agreement, and if there is no objection or consideration, it will be approved on Monday. More details will be known on Monday. The possibility of extending the travel exemption for all 13 people is disputed, and maybe a smaller number will be extended,” said Nasir Ahmad Faiq, the Afghan representative to the UN.


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