The United Nations says five members of the Taliban have been taken off its sanctions blacklist, a move sought by the Afghan government to promote reconciliation.
A U.N. Security Council committee had been reviewing the list of some 137 names that freezes assets, bans the sale of arms, and limits travel for those with suspected links to the Taliban and al-Qaida.
The sanctions committee said Friday former Afghan ambassador to the United Nations Abdul Hakim Mujahid; former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef; Abdul Satar Paktin; and two deceased officials, Abdul Samad Khaksar and Muhammad Islam Mohammadi, were removed from the list. All five were government officials under the Taliban regime.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai had been calling for the removal of at least 10 former Taliban members from the blacklist, as part of a reintegration plan for Taliban fighters willing to lay down their weapons.
Diplomats say the U.N. Security Council will continue its review of the list.
The U.N. blacklist was established in 1999 under U.N. Resolution 1267.
ist was established in 1999 under U.N. Resolution 1267.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.