UN: 10 could be lifted off Taliban sanctions list

By DEB RIECHMANN
The Associated Press
Monday, July 12, 2010; 8:41 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The names of 10 individuals or entities with alleged links to the Taliban are being considered for removal from a U.N. sanctions list, the top U.N. official in Afghanistan said.

Staffan De Mistura said the 10 names, submitted by Afghan officials, were being forwarded to the U.N. Security Council, which will decide whether to take them off the blacklist that freezes assets and limits travel.

The list includes names of 137 individuals and entities - businesses, groups and organizations - with alleged ties to the Taliban or al-Qaida.

President Hamid Karzai has pushed for the removal of some Taliban figures from the blacklist as a way to encourage militants to stop fighting or enter peace talks.

De Mistura would not give the names. He said Monday more names could be put forward for de-listing by the end of the month.

"I cannot comment on the names because that's up to the Security Council who will look and see what the evidence is that could lead to the de-listing," de Mistura told reporters during a news briefing about an upcoming international meeting on Afghanistan in Kabul.

"The de-listing process has been extended to July 31, which means we still have some time to add names. One-by-one, they will be examined, but the movement is taking place."

A U.N. diplomat familiar with the de-listing issue said he understands the sanctions committee would be getting information from Afghanistan on about a dozen individuals. The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly about it, said a mass de-listing was not likely.

Delegates to a national peace conference, or jirga, held recently in Kabul called on the government and its international partners to remove some people from the list. De Mistura noted at the time that the list could be outdated as some people on it may have died.

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Associated Press Writer Edith Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.



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