- Title: U.S. aims to prevent Afghan aid going through Taliban coffers
- Date: 27th August 2021
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (AUGUST 27, 2021) (STATE DEPARTMENT TV) STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN NED PRICE ENTERING BRIEFING ROOM REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) NED PRICE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "We have heard a range of statements from the Taliban, some of them have been positive, some of them have been constructive, but ultimately, what we will be looking for, what our international partners will be looking for are deeds, not words. What we are going to be focused on and questions of any future diplomatic presence, any questions of recognition, any questions of assistance is follow through again, deeds, not words. Now, humanitarian assistance is a separate issue, and we have proven in a context that our varied and really encompass the world, the globe that we can maintain a humanitarian commitment to, in this case, the Afghan people, in ways that do not have any funding or assistance passed through the coffers of a central government. So that commitment will remain. I expect the United States will continue to be a very generous donor to the Afghan people." REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) NED PRICE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "I will say a couple of things on the diplomatic presence. There are a number of issues implicated in a decision like this, first and foremost on our minds, and this is always the case, but it is acutely the case after yesterday is the safety is the security of the Americans who would be part of that mission. The Secretary of State, the President of the United States, and this full team wants to be confident that our people serving overseas, diplomats, service members, others are in a position to operate as safely and securely as possible." REPORTER ASKING QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (English) NED PRICE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "What I can say is that the idea that we are providing names or personally identifying identifiable information to the Taliban in a way that exposes anyone to additional risk, that is simply wrong, simply wrong. What we have developed, what we have been doing, we have implemented effective tactics, and again, you need only look at the evacuation metrics in recent days for a proof point of the effectiveness, but we have developed and implemented effective tactics to be in a position to facilitate the safe passage of individuals to the Kabul airport." REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) NED PRICE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "With the US military set to depart by August 31st, I think that it is probably unreasonable to expect that there will be normal airport operations on September first, but what we are trying to do right now is to lay the groundwork to see to it that resumption of civil aviation, consistent with international civil aviation standards can resume as quickly as possible." REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) NED PRICE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "Our military operation will come to an end by August 31st. What does not have an expiration date is our commitment to any American who, for whatever reason, decides not to take us up on the offer of repatriation now, but who may come to us in days, weeks, months, or years to say, I want help, I want assistance leaving. Now the tactics that may be available to us, depending on where we are. Given all the questions you've asked about, they may be different, in fact, they almost certainly will be different, at least in the near term. But our commitment to American citizens will not change an American citizen who has some time now sending them specific instructions." REPORTER LISTENING
- Embargoed: 10th September 2021 21:53
- Keywords: Afghanistan Ned Price State Department aid airport evacuation
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: US
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA001ES20FGN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The United States will continue to be a "very generous" donor of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people and will aim to prevent any of its assistance from passing through Taliban coffers, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Friday (August 27).
The United States is taking steps to allow humanitarian work to continue in Afghanistan despite U.S. sanctions on the Taliban, which seized power 11 days ago in a war-torn country with an unfolding humanitarian crisis.
"We can maintain a humanitarian commitment to ... the Afghan people in ways that do not have any funding or assistance pass through the coffers of a central government," Price told reporters. "I expect the United States will continue to be a very generous donor to the Afghan people."
The United Nations says more than 18 million people - over half of Afghanistan's population - require aid and half of all Afghan children under the age of five already suffer from acute malnutrition amid the second drought in four years.
The Taliban have said they will respect human rights and will not allow terrorists to operate from the country. The group has also encouraged aid organizations to continue their work, saying aid was welcome as long as it was not used as a means of political influence over Afghanistan.
A Taliban offensive - as foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan after a 20-year war - culminated with the capture of the capital Kabul on Aug. 15. U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in 2001 for refusing to hand over al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden for the September 11 attacks on the United States.
(Production: Kia Johnson)
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