SLUG: 2-270179 UN Teleban sanction (L-only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:



TITLE=U-N-Taleban Sanctions (L Only)


BYLINE=Breck Ardery

DATELINE=United Nations



INTRO: Controversy has erupted at the United Nations over a proposal to drastically tighten sanctions against the Taleban movement in Afghanistan. VOA Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from the United Nations.

TEXT: A proposed U-N Security Council resolution, jointly sponsored by Russia and the United States, would tighten economic sanctions against the Taleban and ban all weapons shipments to them. The proposal goes considerably beyond the existing sanctions which ban Taleban air flights and freeze international bank accounts held by the Taleban.

Sponsors say the resolution is specifically meant to pressure the Taleban to abandon its support of terrorism and to surrender indicted terrorist Usama bin Laden.

But Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations, Shamshad Ahmad, told reporters his nation is strongly against the resolution and it is the wrong way to fight terrorism.

///Ahmad act///

We abhor terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We stand with the international community in combating this menace all over the world. But as far as this particular individual (bin Laden) is concerned, this is a problem that needs to be resolved between the United States and the government in Afghanistan which now is Taleban.

///end act///

Mr. Ahmad says that, instead of sanctions, the international community should engage in a dialogue with the Taleban.

But Russia's ambassador Sergey Lavrov says the Taleban leadership does not inspire trust.

///Lavrov act///

The problem is that the Taleban never delivered on a single promise, be it to start a dialogue, be it to stop fighting, be it to treat women and girls properly or any other demand from the Security Council and in particular to stop their support of terrorism.

///end act///

An American official told reporters the proposed new sanctions are not meant to harm the Afghan people. He points out that humanitarian aid is specifically exempt from the sanctions. He says the United States is currently the largest single donor of food and relief supplies to the Afghan people and that the aid will continue.(Signed)