U.S. criticizes Russia’s plan to remove Taliban from ‘terrorist list’

WASHINGTON — The U.S. National Security Council has sharply criticized Russia’s intention to remove the Taliban from its list of banned terrorist organizations, warning that such a move would send a “horrible message.”

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, condemned the proposed action, stating that the Taliban has failed to meet any of the commitments it made to the international community.

“The way they [the Taliban] are treating their women and girls, the way they are managing their own economy, the way they are taking care of their own people, all of it falls short,” Kirby said.

Kirby emphasized that Washington is in “no position” to recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan.

“For Russia to do so, we believe it would send a bad message to others,” he added. “I don’t want to get into hypotheticals at this point, but it’s an ill-advised course of action.”

Russia’s announcement has drawn sharp criticism from Afghanistan’s human rights defenders, who see the move as giving undue leverage to the Taliban. The proposed removal of the Taliban from the terrorist list has been widely condemned as a step that undermines efforts to hold the group accountable for its actions.

The Taliban, which seized control of Afghanistan in August 2021, has faced international criticism for its human rights record, particularly regarding the treatment of women and girls and the suppression of civil liberties.