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In Shift, Russia to Stop Blocking American Efforts to De-List Former Taliban Officials

The Russian government agreed today to stop blocking a U.S. plan to remove the names of five former Taliban members form a U.N. watch list. The efforts were supported for years by European governments but opposed by Moscow. Moscow had used its veto power in the Security Council to block the de-listing. The list began in 1999, as the U.N. imposed sanctions on the Afghani government, then run by the Taliban, for refusing to surrender Osama bin Ladin to American custody to stand trial for the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. The U.N. measures included a travel ban, an embargo, and a prohibition on the direct or indirect funding of 500 people named on the list. After today’s move, ISAF should be able to begin implementing political reconciliation as a tool in the War on Terror’s Afghanistan Theater.

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