WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (KUNA) -- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday evening that he is taking action to impose additional visa restrictions on "certain current or former Taliban members, members of non-state security groups and other individuals" in response to the Taliban's decision to ban women from universities and from working with NGOs.
Blinken said in a statement that he was taking action "to impose additional visa restrictions on certain current or former Taliban members, members of non-state security groups and other individuals."
The US believed that such persons were "responsible for, or complicit in, repressing women and girls in Afghanistan through restrictive policies and violence, including the Taliban's decision to ban women from universities and from working with NGOs."
He added, "The immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these visa restrictions."
"The Taliban's most recent edicts ban women from universities and from working with NGOs and further the Taliban's previous measures that closed secondary schools to girls and limit the ability of women and girls to participate in the Afghan society and economy," he remarked.
He continued, "Through these decisions, the Taliban have again shown their disregard for the welfare of the Afghan people."
He noted, "The Taliban cannot expect the respect and support of the international community until they respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls."
"We continue to coordinate closely with allies and partners around the world on an approach that makes clear to the Taliban that their actions will carry significant costs and close the path to improved relations with the international community," he stressed.
He reiterated, "We condemn in the strongest of terms the Taliban's actions."
Blinken affirmed that the US "stands with the Afghan people and remains committed to doing all we can to promote and advance respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls." (end)