ISLAMABAD, Jan 13: The UN Security Council meeting on Jan 18 would review sanctions on Afghanistan besides imposing a new set of specific sanctions on Taliban leadership and groups or individuals associated with Al-Qaeda or Osama bin Ladin.
UN sources told Dawn the Security Council was likely to lift the ban imposed for the past two years on Afghan national airline (Ariana) and the Afghan central bank.
The review of the sanctions on Afghanistan has fallen due as the arms embargo imposed on the country is set to expire on Jan 19. Some of the measures imposed by resolution 1267 and 1333 have also lost ground and shall have to be adjusted in view of the installation of an Afghan interim administration after the ouster of Taliban.
A press release issued by the United Nations said members of the Security Council agreed to exclude the Central Bank of Afghanistan from the list of entities subject to the measures of paragraph 4 (b) of SC resolution 1267.
Sources said the lifting of the ban on the Afghan central Bank is expected to facilitate reconstruction of Afghanistan as the members of the Security Council expressed deep concern over the grave humanitarian situation in the war-battered country.
The UNCSC, the press statement said, called on all bilateral and multilateral donors in coordination with the United Nations agencies and special representative of the Secretary-General in cooperation with the interim authority of Afghanistan to continue to provide humanitarian help and assist with the rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Council members called, in particular, for the international community to provide immediate assistance to the interim authority by providing rapid contributions to the Afghan Interim Authority Fund (AIAF), the statement added.
According to the sources, the draft of the review sanctions, prepared by the United States and other permanent members of the Security Council, would be circulated among the ten non-permanent members on Monday.
The UN sources said the Security Council was likely to fix a one-year timeframe for review of the sanctions. During the period, pending fresh review, the arms embargo would remain in place, the sources said.
Moreover, the monitoring group for reporting compliance of the sanctions would continue to function while contacts would be established with the new authorities to monitor and check the drug trade from Afghanistan.
The UN sources said the members of the Security Council were also briefed on initial deployment of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), including the signature of the Military Technical Agreement reached between the Interim Authority of Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force.
Under the agreement, the ISAF would provide periodic reports on progress towards the implementation of its mandate through the United Nations Secretary General to the Security Council.