Barr, others push U.N. ambassador to enforce sanctions on Taliban

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Congressman Barr speaks during Thursday's press conference.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVQ) – Sixth District Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and 20 other Republican House members have sent a letter to U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield urging her to support the full implementation of all UN sanctions and reimpose travel restrictions on senior members of the Taliban.

“The Biden Administration has maintained that the Taliban desires international legitimacy and financing.  That legitimacy and funding must be denied while American citizens, Afghan partners, and others remain behind enemy lines, while the Taliban continues to maintain ties to al Qaeda and harbors terrorists that seek to harm Americans and our allies, and while the Taliban refuses to respect and protect the rights of all Afghan citizens,” the letter read in part. “The travel ban, asset freezes, and arms embargoes imposed by these sanctions are critical to that effort.

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“With the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, we believe it necessary for the United States to support the full implementation of all United Nations sanctions on the Taliban, including rescinding previously issued waivers to the travel ban that are providing them the international legitimacy and access they want.  We must maintain what little leverage this administration has left in place to secure the continued evacuation of Americans and our partners, and to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent the reconstitution of terrorist threats to our homeland,” the letter concluded.

Barr, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has helped lead GOP efforts to cut off Taliban access to the international financial system.

Shortly after the fall of Kabul, Barr sent a letter to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (NY Fed) President John Williams requesting that the NY Fed take steps to prevent financial assets held by the Afghanistan government at the NY Fed from falling into the hands of the Taliban.

Barr also introduced the IMF Afghan Recognition Assurance Act, which would permanently cut off Taliban access to resources from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), unless there was a national security justification for the funds being provided.