U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration canceled a massive supply of dollars to Afghanistan last week before members of the radical Taliban took control of Kabul. The Wall Street Journal reported this on Tuesday, August 17, citing sources.
According to the publication, the U.S. has also blocked the Taliban from accessing government accounts managed by the Federal Reserve (FED) and other U.S. banks, and is working to prevent the group from accessing nearly $500 million in International Monetary Fund reserves.
“Any central bank assets that the Afghan government has in the United States will not be turned over to the Taliban,” said a Biden administration official.
According to Afghanistan Central Bank Governor Ajmal Ahmadi, who fled the country, he was aware on Aug. 13 that there would be no more U.S. currency shipments to the country. At the same time, he pointed out that almost all the Afghan Central Bank’s reserves of $9 billion are abroad. If the U.S. could block them, “the amount available to the Taliban would be almost 0.1%,” Ahmadi suggested.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ned Price, chief of the State Department press office, said the Afghan government had not been able to exist for 20 years without U.S. help, and any new Afghan government would be in the same position. He stressed that the United States also had “leverage” to make future Afghan authorities “bear the costs” if human rights were not respected.
Price added that the United States expects the Taliban to live up to their claims about human rights in Afghanistan.
On August 17, U.S. Assistant to the President for National Security Jake Sullivan did not rule out imposing sanctions on the Taliban to influence them to fulfill their commitments to the situation in Afghanistan.