The people of Afghanistan face enormous challenges: an economic crisis born of decades of dependence on international aid, severe drought, COVID-19, and endemic corruption. In response to the worsening humanitarian and economic crisis, President Biden signed an Executive Order (E.O.) today as part of an effort to set aside $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank assets for the benefit of the Afghan people.
We also recognize that victims of terrorism, including of the September 11 terrorist attacks, have brought claims against the Taliban and are pursuing the central bank’s remaining assets in federal court. This Administration will continue to support these victims and their families, recognizing the enduring pain they have suffered at the hands of terrorists, including those who operated from Afghanistan prior to the September 11 attacks. These victims and their families should have a full opportunity to set forth their arguments in court.
Afghanistan’s economic challenges were exacerbated when the Taliban decided to take the country by force rather than through a negotiated settlement. But America’s ties to the people of Afghanistan, built during two decades of working side-by-side, are steadfast and enduring.