Both the United States and the European Union (EU) have confirmed that they are willing to support humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, but it is not yet clear how and when they will do so. In the face of uncertainty, the Taliban threatened that a new wave of refugees will begin if they do not deliver aid and lift economic sanctions against Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s new Taliban government warned U.S. and European envoys that continued attempts to pressure it through sanctions would undermine security and could trigger a wave of economic refugees.

Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, after meeting with Western diplomats for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 9, in Doha, said that “weakening the Afghan government should not be in anyone’s interest because its negative effects will directly affect the world in [the] security sector and economic migration of the country,” they said in a statement on Tuesday night. 

The Taliban overthrew Afghanistan’s former U.S.-backed government in August after decades of conflict. The country is now under the rule of Taliban extremists who have re-imposed their movement’s strict religious rules.

In addition to the dictatorial situation in the country, there is a deep humanitarian crisis, the result of a crumbling and completely underfunded economy, which is further aggravated by the internal conflict with the rival extremist group, known as ISIS Khorasan group.

Banks are already running out of cash, no foreign currency is coming in from abroad, and ruling officials are reportedly not receiving their agreed salaries, which may weaken the de facto government. 

According to his spokesman’s statement, Muttaqi told the Doha meeting, “We urge the countries of the world to end existing sanctions and allow banks to operate normally so that charity groups, organizations and the government can pay salaries to their staff from their own reserves and international finances.”

But Western governments continue to doubt the Taliban government, especially since it emerged that the Taliban ruled out cooperation with the United States to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan, taking an intransigent stance on a key issue, Fox News reported.

Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said there would be no cooperation with Washington to contain the ISIS-K group, which is increasingly active in Afghanistan.

The terrorist group confessed responsibility for several recent attacks including a suicide bombing last Friday that left 46 Shiite Muslims dead and dozens wounded as the worshippers prayed at a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz.

When Shaheen was asked if the Taliban would work with the U.S. to contain the Islamic State affiliate he replied bluntly, “We can deal with Daesh independently.”

However, they are now threatening that if sanctions are not lifted and humanitarian aid is not forthcoming, Afghan citizens will begin fleeing the country in waves, escaping the chaos and seeking refuge abroad in search of a safer and more prosperous future.

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