No clear path for unfreezing Afghan funds, Qatar foreign minister says

Qatari FM Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani attends talks with Russian FM Sergei Lavrov in Moscow
FILE PHOTO: Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani attends talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not seen) in Moscow, Russia September 11, 2021. Alexander Nemenov/Pool via REUTERS

October 13, 2021

DOHA (Reuters) – There is no clear path for unfreezing Afghan government funds, Qatar’s foreign minister told a conference on Wednesday, highlighting the economic challenges Afghanistan faces under its new Taliban rulers.

Qatar is hosting talks between the Taliban and Western officials and is seen as having influence over the Taliban movement.

Much of the Afghan central bank’s $10 billion in assets are parked overseas.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, reiterated Qatar’s position that recognising the Taliban government was not currently a priority, but international engagement was important.

(Reporting by Andrew Mills; Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Andrew Heavens)