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9/11 families cannot stop US decision on Afghan asset seizure



(Last Updated On: February 25, 2023)

A U.S. judge on Friday rejected a request by families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks not to enforce his decision against letting them seize $3.5 billion of frozen Afghan central bank assets.

The families, comprising more than 10,000 people, had asked U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan to put his Feb.21 decision on hold while they appeal, Reuters reported.

They cited the public interest in enforcing terrorism-related judgments, and the “irreparable harm” they would face if assets belonging to Da Afghanistan Bank, or DAB, the central bank, were freed up.

But the judge said the families’ appeal was unlikely to succeed and there was no irreparable harm because of President Joe Biden’s Feb. 3 executive order on Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis that extended the asset freeze by one year.

“An important public interest lies in the enforcement of terrorism judgments,” Daniels wrote. “But that enforcement must be in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, and state law.”

In ruling against the families, Daniels said awarding them the frozen assets would effectively recognize the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) as Afghanistan’s legitimate government, which the Biden administration has not done.

Daniels said it was for the IEA, and “not the former Islamic Republic of Afghanistan or the Afghan people,” to pay for its own liability in the Sept. 11 attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people died.

Biden froze about $7 billion of DAB funds at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York in February 2022, six months after the IEA took over in Afghanistan. The president ordered $3.5 billion set aside to benefit the Afghan people, leaving the rest for the families to pursue.


Acting commerce minister meets Russian deputy PM



(Last Updated On: May 17, 2024)

Nooruddin Azizi, Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce, met with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk to discuss trade and investment, it was announced on Friday.

Sergey Pavlov, General Director of Russian Railways, and Dmitry Zverev, Deputy Minister of Transport of Russia, were also present in the meeting, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement.

According to the statement, the two sides discussed increasing the volume of trade, preferential tariff for Afghan goods, Russian investment in mines and water dams in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan’s role in the International North–South Transport Corridor.

They also discussed about reducing the cost of transportation through the Russian railway, removing the export tax on basic materials, arranging the trip of the delegation to the ports of Astrakhan and Makhachkala, and holding a trade connectivity conference and an expo of Afghan products in Moscow.

Azizi met with the Russian deputy PM on the sidelines of the Kazan Forum – the 15th International Economic Forum of Russia and the Islamic World.

He also met with representatives of a number of Tatarstan and Russia companies and encouraged them to invest in Afghanistan.

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Azizi meets with head of Tatarstan on sidelines of Kazan Forum



(Last Updated On: May 16, 2024)

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry said Thursday acting minister Nooruddin Azizi met with the leader of Russia’s autonomous republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Nurgaliyevich Minnikhanov, on the sidelines of a meeting in Kazan.

According to the ministry, Azizi met with Minnikhanov on the sidelines of the Kazan Forum – the 15th International Economic Forum of Russia and the Islamic World.

The two officials discussed bilateral trade relations, the establishment of the Russian Trade House in Afghanistan, the visit of Minnikhanov to Kabul, investment in electricity production, water transfer, mining, cultural and economic cooperation and other matters.

This annual meeting is held by Russia and the 14th round of this meeting was also held in the same country last year.

The main goal of the forum is to strengthen trade and economic, scientific and technical, social and cultural ties between Russian regions and the countries of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as well as to promote the development of the Islamic financial system institutions in Russia.

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Afghanistan’s imports and exports totaled $10.3 billion last year



(Last Updated On: May 15, 2024)

The National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA) said on Wednesday that last year, the value of exports totaled $1.79 billion while imports totaled $8.57 billion.

According to NSIA, fruits accounted for the largest share of export items last year, totaling over $645 million.

Medicinal plants, minerals and vegetables were the next top three items respectively to be exported.

Meanwhile, petroleum and oil accounted for the largest portion of imported goods, totaling over $1.37 billion.

Another large portion of the total amount imported went to machinery, vehicles and parts. This totaled over $1.15 billion, followed by textiles, metals and metal products.

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