September 19, 2021

Biden freezes billions of dollars in Afghan reserves

The Biden administration on Sunday froze Afghan government reserves held in U.S. bank accounts, blocking the Taliban from accessing billions of dollars held in U.S. institutions, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The decision was made by Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and officials in the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the people said.

The State Department was also involved in discussions over the weekend, with officials in the White House monitoring the developments.

An administration official said in a statement, “Any Central Bank assets the Afghan government have in the United States will not be made available to the Taliban.”

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss government policy not yet made public.

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