us-moves-$3.5-billion-of-afghan-bank's-reserves-to-swiss-based-trust,-taliban-furious

The United States said it has set up a professionally run fund in Switzerland to manage $3.5 billion of Afghanistan’s central bank’s reserves that were frozen following the Taliban takeover of the country.

According to reports, the new Afghan Fund was created on Wednesday, and it would have an account at the Bank for International Settlements.

The primary aim of the creation of the fund is to strengthen Afghanistan’s macroeconomic stability, including covering Afghanistan’s arrears in international financial institutions and paying for electricity imports, but it will not handle humanitarian aid or government salaries, the TRT World reported.

Around $7 billion of Afghanistan’s central bank foreign currency assets are held by the US and other foreign banks.

The decision to set up a fund comes months after intense negotiations to release the $3.5 billion Afghan funds that were set aside for Afghanistan by US President Joe Biden.

The remaining $3.5 billion has been withheld by the US Federal Reserve (FED) and it will be disbursed as compensation to the victims of the September 11 attacks, which led to the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the report states.

A court decision on this matter is awaited and is expected in October.

Meanwhile, the Taliban have lambasted the United States for moving its reserves to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS),

A Taliban official with the country’s central bank (DAB) told TRT World, “We don’t agree with the transfer of money to the account indicated, but [we wish for it] to be transferred to Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB).”

The spokesperson added that they are open to a third-party monitoring system as demanded by the US government.

(With inputs from agencies)

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