Politics

Rubio to propose designating Taliban a terrorist group, its government a state sponsor of terrorism

EXCLUSIVE: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is demanding Congress and the Biden administration designate the Taliban as a international terrorist group and its new government as a state sponsor of terrorism. 

The Florida senator is anticipated to roll out laws Wednesday that will prohibit federal departments and companies from taking any motion that states or implies recognition of the Taliban’s declare of sovereignty over Afghanistan. 

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The laws is supported by GOP Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.

Rubio can also be proposing an evaluation and annual report from the State Department on which nations have “diplomatic relations” with the Taliban, and whether or not any international individuals “knowingly” present help to the Taliban. The laws would require the U.S. Treasury Department to then impose sanctions on people who present help to the Taliban.

As for humanitarian support, Rubio’s laws would require USAID to be sure that any humanitarian help in Afghanistan – or another state by which FTOs maintain territory or wield “substantial power” – doesn’t go to these terrorists. The invoice would additionally block appropriated funds from going to any government whose duly elected head of government is deposed by “Coup d’etat.” 

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The invoice would additionally require an annual report from the State Department on whether or not Pakistan is offering protected harbor to designated international terrorist organizations; whether or not or not the Taliban ought to be designated as a “significant foreign narcotics trafficker;” and whether or not the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan ought to be thought-about a “high-risk jurisdiction.” 

The invoice additionally would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to assess whether or not the importation of uncommon earth supplies from Afghanistan violate prohibitions on items made with compelled labor, and would repeal the sections of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 that supplied an exception in Iran sanctions for services and sectors needed for Afghanistan reconstruction. 

Rubio’s proposal comes simply a week after the Taliban introduced the formation of its new government, after the group took over Afghanistan amidst the U.S. military withdrawal final month. 

The government shall be led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as deputy. Other appointments embrace Mullah Yaqoob as appearing protection minister, Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi as second deputy, and Sirajuddin Haqqani, the top of designated terrorist group Haqqani Network and one of the FBI’s most needed terrorist operatives, as appearing inside minister. 

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The Biden administration, regardless of describing its dialogue with the Taliban as “cooperative,” “businesslike and professional” amidst the United States’ now-diplomatic mission to evacuate remaining Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan following the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops on Aug. 31, stated it’s in “no rush” to acknowledge the group because the professional government of Afghanistan.

“There’s no rush to recognition, and that will be dependent on what steps the Taliban takes,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated final week. “The world will be watching whether they allow for American citizens, whether they allow individuals to leave who want to, and how they treat women and girls around the country.” 

Psaki stated she didn’t have a “timeline” on if and when the Biden administration would acknowledge the Taliban. 

The White House, although, plans to proceed offering humanitarian support to the individuals of Afghanistan however didn’t specify how it will guarantee these funds keep out of the arms of the Taliban. 

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White House nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan, earlier this month, stated humanitarian help is an “important dimension” that ought to go “directly to the people of Afghanistan.” 

“We do go through nongovernmental organizations who are still operating on the ground in Afghanistan,” Sullivan stated earlier this month. “It will not flow through [the Taliban.]”

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