KABUL - The UN committee that oversees the Taliban blacklist has dropped 14 names at the Afghan government's urging, including several members of the peace council that President Hamid Karzai formed to find a political solution to the country's insurgency. The Afghan government had asked the sanctions committee to drop up to 50 former Taliban leaders from its list, and provided extensive documentation aimed at showing they have since been reintegrated into society.
Removing sanctions against former Afghan Taliban, including a travel ban and assets freeze, is seen as key to promoting dialogue.
"The Security Council and the international community support the efforts of the Afghan government to engage reconciled Taliban in a political dialogue in order to achieve peace and security in Afghanistan," said German Ambassador Mr Peter Wittig, who chairs the Security Council committee that oversees those sanctions.
In dropping the 14 names, the committee recognized "efforts by members of the High Peace Council to work towards peace, stability and reconciliation," said Mr Wittig. "The message is clear: engaging for peace pays off."
Another 123 names remain after Friday's "de-listing." Those taken off the list yesterday included ArsalaRahmani, the Taliban's former deputy minister of higher education; HabibullahFawzi, who once served as the Taliban's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; and Faqir Mohammad Khan, a former Taliban deputy minister, all of them are on President Karzai's 70-member High Peace Council. (AP)