by Xinhua writers Bai Jie, Cao Yiming
UNITED NATIONS, July 23 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations will cautiously review the Afghan government's request for lifting UN sanctions against 10 individuals and entities related to Taliban, a UN official told Xinhua.
Richard Barrett, coordinator of the monitoring team of the so-called 1267 Committee on al-Qaida and the Taliban, said removing former Taliban members from the decade-old sanction list has become a key issue for both the Afghan government and the Taliban especially after the Peace Jirga (national meeting) was held in Kabul in early June.
"(Afghan President Hamid) Karzai is offering it as a possibility, (as) the Taliban is demanding it as something they need in order to be able to stop fighting ... so it is quite important," said Barrett, who has been leading the UN panel that oversees the implementation of sanctions against the Taliban and al-Qaida since March 2004.
But whether to take the 10 names off the list depends on the members of the UN Security Council, Barrett said. "It doesn't depend on what the Afghan government wants, nor of course what the Taliban want."
"The Security Council has that list as part of its efforts to ensure international peace and security ... I think the council will be relatively cautious, but certainly very willing to look at any cases presented."
Last week, top UN envoy in Afghanistan Staffan De Mistura said the 10 names are in the process of being forwarded to the Security Council.
Special Report: Afghanistan Situation