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UN Reviewing Terrorism Blacklist


Members of the Afghan Taliban (FILE)

Members of the Afghan Taliban (FILE)

The top United Nations official in Afghanistan says 10 people or groups with alleged links to the Taliban are being considered for removal from a U.N. terrorism blacklist.

Staffan de Mistura did not give details, but told reporters Monday The top United Nations official in Afghanistan says 10 people or groups with alleged links to the Taliban are being considered for removal from a U.N. terrorism blacklist.

The council will then decide whether the names should be taken off the list that freezes assets and limits travel of those with suspected links to the Taliban and al-Qaida.

In a report published Monday, The Washington Post newspaper said Afghan President Hamid Karzai plans to ask the U.N. to remove as many as 50 former Taliban members from the terror blacklist.

The newspaper quotes a senior Afghan official who says the request is part of a bid to advance reconciliation talks with the Taliban.

President Hamid Karzai has recently begun to press for a political settlement to Afghanistan's nearly nine-year old conflict and is reaching out to former Taliban officials who could help in that effort. Mr. Karzai's office on Monday announced the release of 28 suspected Taliban prisoners following a review of their cases.

The Washington Post says the de-listing process has met with resistance from U.N. officials who are demanding evidence the ex-Taliban members have renounced violence, embraced the new Afghan constitution, and severed links with the Taliban and al-Qaida.

The newspaper said Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, traveled to New York last week to meet with U.N. officials to press them to move forward on the de-listing process.

However, the newspaper noted the U.S. opposes the de-listing of some of the most violent Taliban members, including leader Mullah Omar.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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