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Afghanistan wants more Taliban off blacklist

Afghanistan wants more Taliban off blacklist

Afghanistan urged the U.N. Security Council on Monday to remove additional members of the Taliban from its sanctions blacklist, a move it has sought to promote a political solution to the nine-year Afghan war.
Afghanistan's U.N. Ambassador Zahir Tanin said the decision to remove 10 Taliban members from the list this year by the council committee monitoring sanctions against the Taliban and al-Qaida "will benefit Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation initiative."
With reconciliation and reintegration of former combatants with no links to terrorism "critical for achieving lasting peace and security," Tanin urged the sanctions committee to also give "due consideration" to other names submitted by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The sanctions committee "delisted" five Taliban members early this year and in July, it removed five more members _ but Afghan officials had submitted 10 names for consideration, according to Staffan De Mistura, the top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan.
Karzai has been making peace overtures to members of the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan for five years before it was driven out in the U.S.-led invasion at the end of 2001. The Taliban have long demanded removal from the sanctions list to help promote reconciliation
Tanin spoke at an open Security Council meeting reviewing terrorism-related sanctions where he called Afghanistan "the number one victim of international terrorism," saying "the enemy we face is part of a complex and sophisticated network with safe havens and sanctuaries in our region from which terrorists still enjoy support."
"Afghanistan remains alarmed at the presence of these support centers, and reiterates that unless they are addressed, the terrorism which has been raging like wildfire will regrettably continue," he said.