Taliban leaders appeal for help with migrant crisis

The comments, at a special meeting to mark the U.N.'s international migrants day, underlined the new Islamist Taliban government's push to engage with the world community, four months after they seized power in Kabul.

The movement's deputy Foreign Minister, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, said it was the responsibility of countries like the United States, which have blocked billions of dollars of central bank reserves, to help Afghanistan recover after decades of war.

He said that the impact of the frozen funds is on the common people and not Taliban authorities. The conference was attended by representatives of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the United Nations refugee organisation.

U.N. bodies estimate that millions of Afghans could face hunger over the winter without urgent help, but aid has been hampered by international unwillingness to engage directly with the Taliban, in part because of concern over rights for women and political inclusion.

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