AP: UN Resolutions Separate Al Qaeda from the Taliban
The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Friday to sanction Al Qaeda and the Taliban separately, rather than as a single entity as under the previous sanctions regime, the Associated Press reports.
The new sets of sanctions, established in two resolutions sponsored by the United States, recognize the Afghan government’s attempt to reconcile with some elements of the Taliban. US Ambassador Susan Rice told the AP that the move “will serve as an important tool to promote reconciliation, while isolating extremists... and send[ing] a clear message to the Taliban that there is a future for those who separate from Al Qaeda.”
The Security Council first sanctioned the Taliban in 1999 in connection with its protection of Osama bin Laden, later expanding the sanctions to target affiliates of Al Qaeda as well. The resolutions passed Friday acknowledge that the two groups’ goals differ. Afghan Taliban fighters have since 2001 largely focused on overthrowing Afghanistan’s own government, whereas Al Qaeda harbors global ambitions.
British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the AP: “We have adopted a new sanctions regime targeting the insurgency in Afghanistan and a second targeting the terrorism threat posed by Al Qaeda.”
While imposing stricter sanctions on Al Qaeda and its associates, the resolutions call for groups and individuals who meet certain reconciliation conditions agreed to by the international community and the Afghan government to be “expeditiously” removed from the sanctions list, according to the AP.
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