Barr-led GOP effort calls for support of UN sanctions, travel restrictions on Taliban

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations should support implementing all UN sanctions and reimpose travel restrictions on senior members of the Taliban, according to U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and 20 of his Republican colleagues.

“We are writing to express our deep concern about reports that the Biden administration is considering supporting the lifting of United Nations sanctions on the Taliban,” the members wrote in a Sept. 14 letter sent to UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “The Taliban’s continued relationship with al Qaeda will certainly lead to a resurgent terror threat that will not only have implications for our national security, but the security of our global partners.”

Further, Americans and their allies who remain in Afghanistan are in danger, the refugee crisis continues to grow, and the fate of Afghan women and other vulnerable populations looks increasingly grim, according to their letter.

“The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated,” wrote Rep. Barr and his colleagues, who included U.S. Reps. Young Kim (R-CA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Brian Mast (R-FL), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH).

The Biden administration has maintained that the Taliban seeks international legitimacy and financing, which must be denied during the current situation, especially as the Taliban continues to maintain ties to al Qaeda and harbors terrorists, wrote the lawmakers, noting that the travel ban, asset freezes, and arms embargoes imposed by the current sanctions are critical to that effort.

“With the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, we believe it necessary for the United States to support the full implementation of all United Nations sanctions on the Taliban, including rescinding previously issued waivers to the travel ban that are providing them the international legitimacy and access they want,” Rep. Barr and the members wrote. “We must maintain what little leverage this administration has left in place to secure the continued evacuation of Americans and our partners, and to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent the reconstitution of terrorist threats to our homeland.”