EXCLUSIVE: Republican Senator Marco Rubio demands that Congress and the Biden administration designate the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization and its new government as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The Florida senator is expected to introduce legislation Wednesday prohibiting federal departments and agencies from taking any action indicating or implying recognition of the Taliban’s claim to sovereignty over Afghanistan.
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The legislation is supported by GOP Sens. Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia, Dan Sullivan from Alaska, Thom Tillis from North Carolina, Tommy Tuberville from Alabama and Cynthia Lummis from Wyoming.
Rubio also offers an annual State Department assessment and report on which countries have “diplomatic relations” with the Taliban, and whether foreign persons are “knowingly” providing assistance to the Taliban. The legislation would require the US Treasury Department to then impose sanctions on those providing assistance to the Taliban.
As for humanitarian aid, Rubio’s legislation would require USAID to ensure that any humanitarian aid in Afghanistan – or any other state in which the OFF holds territory or wield “substantial power” – does not go to these terrorists. The bill would also prevent allocated funds from going to any government whose duly elected head of government is removed by a “coup”.
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The bill would also require an annual State Department report on whether Pakistan provides safe haven to designated foreign terrorist organizations; whether or not the Taliban should be designated as a “major foreign drug trafficker”; and whether Taliban-controlled Afghanistan should be considered a “high-risk jurisdiction”.
The bill would also require U.S. customs and border protection to assess whether importing rare earths from Afghanistan violates bans on products made with forced labor, and repeal sections of the law. Iranian Conference on Freedom and Combating Proliferation in 2012 which provided for an exception. in Iran sanctions for the facilities and sectors necessary for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Rubio’s proposal comes just a week after the Taliban announced the formation of their new government, after the group took control of Afghanistan amid the US military withdrawal last month.
The government will be headed by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, with the co-founder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as deputy. Other appointments include Mullah Yaqoob as Acting Defense Minister, Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi as Second Deputy and Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the designated terrorist organization Haqqani Network and one of the most successful terrorists. wanted by the FBI, as acting Home Secretary.
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The Biden administration, although it called its dialogue with the Taliban “cooperative,” “pragmatic and professional” as part of the now diplomatic mission of the United States to evacuate the Americans and the remaining Afghan allies from Afghanistan following the complete withdrawal of US troops on August 31. , said he was “in no rush” to recognize the group as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
“There is no rush to recognition, and that will depend on the actions taken by the Taliban,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week. “The world will see if they allow American citizens, if they allow individuals to leave who want to, and how they treat women and girls across the country.”
Psaki said she did not have a “timetable” for whether and when the Biden administration would recognize the Taliban.
The White House, however, plans to continue providing humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, but has not specified how it would ensure that those funds stay out of the hands of the Taliban.
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Earlier this month, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said humanitarian aid was an “important dimension” that should go “directly to the Afghan people.”
“We go through non-governmental organizations that are still operating on the ground in Afghanistan,” Sullivan said earlier this month. “It will not pass [the Taliban.]”