The US and Switzerland are strengthening their cooperation: they have set up a trust to manage funds blocked from the central bank of Afghanistan.
Swiss Secretary of State Livia Liu is currently in the United States. Yesterday he met and held talks with US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Washington. A dialogue on strategic partnership with the United States Institutionalized. An annual exchange is now taking place between Switzerland and the United States.
The talks between Liu and Sherman focused on improving bilateral relations and strengthening strategic cooperation in solving global problems. A concrete example of this is how Switzerland was able to find a solution to the financing of the Afghan central bank, which was banned in the United States.
Sherman welcomed her with open arms, Liu says. He received particular recognition for Switzerland’s commitment to Afghanistan. Since the overthrow of the Afghan government a year ago, billions of dollars in the Afghan central bank have been frozen in the United States.
Foundation established for Afghanistan
“We have worked closely together in Afghanistan in recent months,” Liu says. A fund for the Afghan people was set up this week. The Geneva-based foundation aims to take a portion of Afghanistan’s central bank funds, preserve them, preserve them for the future and spend some. Switzerland is represented on the Board of Trustees.
“We were able to get involved because these funds are managed in a foundation in Switzerland,” Liu explains of the commitment. The funds themselves go to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Around US$3.5 billion in funds will be used by the trust to promote economic stability in Afghanistan, for example to provide loans to international companies or to finance electricity imports.
It solves a problem that the US government cannot solve on its own, and it has been heavily criticized for it. But first we need to find a way to prevent the money from getting into the hands of the Taliban.
America is grateful for good offices
Liu said Switzerland is the only country with the financial, political and legal know-how to find such a solution, as his counterpart Sherman emphasized in the conversation. “If you dare to do something out of the ordinary for the common good, it is noted favorably,” says the Swiss Secretary of State. America is very grateful for the settlement. This collaboration is a concrete example of Switzerland’s tradition of good offices.
We are very different partners, Switzerland and America, and we can complement each other very well
The meeting between Liu and Sherman was the second such meeting. They discussed the possibility of working together more strategically, Liu says. “We are very different partners, Switzerland and America, and we can complement each other very well.”
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