|Afghanistan peace conference in Moscow|
A total of 135 Taliban officials were subject to a travel ban and asset freeze by the UN Security Council in 2011. However, exemptions were granted to 13 officials in 2019 so that they could attend peace talks in Qatar. The Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan after the United States withdrew its troops from the country last year.
Members of the UN Security Council are experiencing a deadlock regarding how to treat these militants. The US proposed reinstating the travel ban on seven of the 13 officials, only six of whom were allowed to enter Qatar. The Taliban government demands that the UN Security Council remove all sanctions against its members and allow them to travel for its purposes of dialogue and engagement with the international community. RT reported on Saturday (20/8). In his statement on Saturday (20/8), the spokesman for the group called on the UN Security Council to "not use sanctions as a means of pressure".
The day before, the Council failed to reach an agreement on extending sanctions that would allow 13 senior Taliban officials to travel abroad for conferences and talks. Russia and China suggested the waiver be extended by another 90 days, but only for travel to Russia, China, Qatar or countries in the region, Al Jazeera reported. However, the Taliban accused some Western fanatics of "using the ban to create distance between Afghanistan and the world".
Western diplomats cited the failure of the Taliban to form a multi-ethnic government and restore women's rights as justification for the travel ban. "If the ban is extended, it will create distance, instead of promoting dialogue and agreement, the outcome of which must be prevented," the Taliban said. "Afghanistan where the US, NATO and the 50 countries which with full force failed to establish peace and stability, security and stability there today are in the interest of the whole world."