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Germany, US turn economic heat on Afghanistan

Berlin/Kalingrad/Washington/Toronto, August 17 (UNI/Sputnik): The German government has suspended economic aid to Afghanistan, Economic Development Minister Gerd Mueller told German media on Tuesday.

“The state’s development cooperation has been suspended,” Mueller told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

Olaf Deutschbein, the minister’s spokesperson, cited Mueller as saying on Twitter that the Economic Development Ministry’s agency for international cooperation GIZ had pulled all its staffers from Afghanistan.

“The remaining German and EU members of GIZ were able to safely leave the country. We are working intensely to get support staff of the German development cooperation [agencies] and our partner aid organizations out of Afghanistan, if they want it,” Mueller said.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday that Germany was building an air bridge to airlift German nationals and people in need of rescue from Kabul after it fell to the Taliban militant group.

The Biden administration has also decided to freeze billions of dollars of Afghanistan government reserves held in the US financial institutions to halt the Taliban from accessing these funds, the Washington Post said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday it was not rushing to recognise the Taliban movement as the legitimate Afghan authorities, similar to other countries.

“We are not rushing with the recognition, just like all other countries,” Lavrov told reporters.

Canada is also not considering recognising the Taliban (banned in Russia) as the legitimate government of Afghanistan after the terror group reclaimed control of the war-torn country on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

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