US Envoy Thomas West Reacts to Taliban Letter to US Congress

West said the Islamic Emirate should gain legitimacy by taking actions to form an inclusive government and to respect human rights.

The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, on Friday reacted to the letter of the Islamic Emirate to the US Congress that called for the release of Afghanistan’s central bank assets.

The Islamic Emirate in its letter to the US Congress said that the economic and financial problems in Afghanistan are rooted in the freezing of the Afghan assets by the US government.

“Currently the fundamental challenge of our people is financial security and the roots of this concern lead back to the freezing of assets of our people by the American government,” the Islamic Emirate letter read.

West responded, saying that Afghanistan was already suffering from a humanitarian crisis even before the collapse of the former government. “Afghanistan was unfortunately already suffering a terrible humanitarian crisis before mid-August, made worse by war, years of drought, and the pandemic,” he said.

In a series of tweets, West said the US officials had made it clear to the Taliban years ago that taking power by force would result in non-humanitarian aid cut.

“US officials made clear to the Taliban for years that if they pursued a military takeover rather than a negotiated settlement with fellow Afghans then critical non-humanitarian aid provided by the international community – in an economy enormously dependent on aid, including for basic services – would all but cease. That is what occurred,” he said.

West said the US will continue engaging with the Islamic Emirate diplomatically but legitimacy should be earned by the Taliban by taking steps toward forming an inclusive government and respecting human rights, especially women’s rights.

“We will continue clear-eyed, candid diplomacy with the Taliban. Legitimacy and support must be earned by actions to address terrorism, establish an inclusive government, and respect the rights of minorities, women and girls – including equal access to education and employment,” he said.

The US envoy for Afghanistan says that the US will continue its humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. He said this year the US has provided $474 million and is making every effort to help the humanitarian actors in providing humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan.

US Envoy Thomas West Reacts to Taliban Letter to US Congress