United Nations Could Hasten Removal of Taliban Leaders From Terror Blacklist

The New York Times reports that the UN is speeding up efforts that could lead to the removal of Taliban leaders from an international terrorist blacklist. Staffan de Mistura, the secretary general’s special representative to Afghanistan, said the United Nations was responding to the call of Afghanistan’s recent consultative peace gathering, called a jirga, to de-list Taliban figures.

A four-member delegation from the Security Council’s Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee is in Kabul on a three-day visit to study the composition of the terrorist blacklist and make  recommendations to the Security Council about possible changes, he said.

“I am personally delighted that the timing of the visit coincided, quote unquote, with the follow-up to the peace jirga,” Mr. de Mistura said,  adding that it was an important part of building momentum toward peace  talks.

Mr. de Mistura said the blacklist committee was to make its recommendations to the Security Council by the end of June. He said there might be a slight delay “in view of the extremely complex situation and highly timely nature of their visit.”

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