The 15-member United Nations Security Council, including India, voted unanimously to split a key sanctions list on al-Qaeda and Taliban, a move aimed at backing the Afghan government’s reconciliation efforts with insurgents.
The Council voted Friday night to adopt two resolutions — a new blacklist of individuals and organisations linked to al-Qaeda and another of those connected with Taliban whose activities focus on Afghanistan.
The separate lists are aimed at highlighting differences between the two outfits and make it easier to add and remove people and entities. The Council also established specific criteria for having an individual delisted.
Following the UNSC move, Taliban and al-Qaeda will be treated separately when it comes to enforcement of the travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo imposed in 1999.
India, however, pointed out that the linkages between different non-state actors and al-Qaeda were close, but it voted in favour to send an unequivocal message.
“The syndicate of terrorism, with intricate inter-connections, comprising al-Qaeda, elements of the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist groups that operate from within and outside Afghan borders are among the biggest threats from terrorism worldwide,” said Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s envoy to the UN.
“These bonds have strengthened over the years,” Mr. Puri told the Council.
“We have joined the consensus in favour of the resolutions adopted to convey an unequivocal and resolute message from this Council of its steadfast determination in countering terrorism,” Mr. Puri said.
Susan Rice, U.S. envoy to the UN, described the move as an important response to the “evolving and distinct threats posed by al-Qaeda and Taliban.”
“Today’s action shows that the Security Council can adapt flexibly to evolving threats,” she said.
The two resolutions passed by the Council give the Afghan government a greater role in determining who is on the Taliban sanctions list.
“From now on, the Afghan government has a visible and distinct role in the process of listing and delisting,” German Ambassador Peter Wittig said.