Blinken discusses Afghanistan with Qatari counterpart

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Blinken and the Foreign Minister also reviewed the latest developments regarding Afghanistan…reports Asian lite News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday (local time) spoke with Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and reviewed the latest developments regarding Afghanistan.

“The Secretary congratulated the Qatari people for their recent observance of Qatar National Day and thanked Qatar for its continued work to assist with the safe transit from Afghanistan of U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and Afghans to whom we have a special commitment,” Blinken said in a statement.

Blinken and the Foreign Minister also reviewed the latest developments regarding Afghanistan, the statement added.

Blinken earlier today said that the United States will work with the international community to scale up the level of assistance provided to Afghanistan, adding to provide one million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to the strife-torn country through COVAX.

The United States is working tirelessly with the international community to ensure humanitarian assistance and other essential support flows to the people of Afghanistan to support those in need, Blinken added.

Meanwhile, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Wednesday (local time) issued three General Licenses to facilitate the continued flow of humanitarian assistance and other support for the Afghan people, White House said in a statement.

“These actions underscore the United States’ commitment to support the people of Afghanistan and continue the US government’s longstanding practice of authorizing the provision of humanitarian goods and services to areas affected by US sanctions,” read the statement.

The statement also said that Treasury’s OFAC also issued a Fact Sheet that highlights and consolidates all the relevant authorizations and guidance facilitating the flow of humanitarian assistance, personal remittances, and other support to the Afghan people.

“The United States is the largest single provider of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. We are committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan, which is why the Treasury is taking these additional steps to facilitate assistance,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.

Adeyemo added, “Unfortunately, the economy faces grave challenges, exacerbated by the country’s long dependence on foreign aid, donor and private sector flight sparked by the Taliban’s takeover, drought, structural macroeconomic issues, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Treasury has provided broad authorizations that ensure NGOs, international organizations, and the US government can continue to provide relief to those in need.”

As part of Treasury’s commitment to enabling humanitarian assistance and other support to Afghanistan, OFAC issued the following General Licenses that expand upon existing authorizations related to the provision of humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs and enable broader support for the Afghan people.

According to the statement, General License 17 authorizes all transactions and activities involving the Taliban or the Haqqani Network that are for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof, subject to certain conditions.

General License 18 authorizes all transactions and activities involving the Taliban or the Haqqani Network that are for the conduct of the official business of certain international organizations and other international entities by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof, subject to certain conditions, said the statement.

The statement further said General License 19 authorizes all transactions and activities involving the Taliban or the Haqqani Network, that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the following activities by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), subject to certain conditions: humanitarian projects to meet basic human needs; activities to support rule of law, citizen participation, government accountability and transparency, human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to information, and civil society development projects; education; non-commercial development projects directly benefitting the Afghan people; and environmental and natural resource protection. (ANI)

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