UNSC separates al-Qaeda-Taliban sanctions list

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United Nations, Jun 18: The UN Security Council has split a key sanctions list on the Taliban and al-Qaida to inspire the radical Islamic militia to join the reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.

The Security Council voted 15 to 0 to adopt two resolutions - a new blacklist of individuals and organisations linked to al-Qaeda and another of those connected with Taliban.

The move will distinguish between the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the enforcement of the travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo imposed in 1999.

The resolution "sends a clear message to the Taliban that there is a future for those who separate from al-Qaeda, renounce violence and abide by the Afghan constitution," US Ambassador Susan Rice was quoted as saying by the CNN.

While, Mark Lyall Grant, the UK ambassador to the UN, told the the Council: "It sends a clear signal that now is the time for the Taliban to come forward and join the political process."

The two resolutions, 1988 and 1989, also give the Afghan government a greater role in determining who is on the Taliban sanctions list.

The UNSC last year created an ombudsman to review appeals from individuals who wanted to be delisted. The new resolutions allow the ombudsman to make recommendations on delistings, which the Council can overturn only by consensus vote.

"The link between al-Qaeda and the Taliban has not disappeared, but it''s not the same as in 1999," French Ambassador G�rard Araud told the UNSC.

The resolutions spearheaded by the US and co-sponsored by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal maintain sanctions on around 310 individuals, entities and organizations with links to al-Qaeda and about 140 with Taliban links.

The US is set to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan the next month.

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