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Afghanistan banks to reopen from August 25 — Taliban spokesman

The banking system of Afghanistan will resume operation from August 25, Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman of the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) said on Tuesday.

"All banks in the country, including the Central Bank, will resume their work from tomorrow. We have carried out the appropriate preparatory work. We urge employees of this sector to return to their jobs," said the Taliban spokesman, whose speech was broadcast live on the Ariana News TV channel.

On Monday, the Taliban appointed Mohammad Idris as new acting head of the Central Bank of Afghanistan.

Earlier, Ajmal Ahmadi, the acting head of the Central Bank in the government of President Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country, said that the Taliban have access to no more than 0.1% of state reserves, since a significant part of them had been frozen by the United States. In his opinion, in the current situation, the Taliban must take control over capital flows, as well as restrict access to dollar assets in the country in order to avoid rising inflation and the impoverishment of the population.

After the Biden administration announced the end of its US military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country. Vice President Amrullah Saleh said that under the constitution, he becomes "the caretaker president" in absence of the president and called for armed resistance against the Taliban. At present, Western nations are evacuating their citizens and embassy staff.

[Source: Tass, Cairo, 24Aug21]

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