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International relations

Cash for Kabul? Washington split on releasing billions to Taliban

Biden pressured to keep hard-line group out of global financial system

Taliban soldiers stand in front of a sign at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept. 9.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- Political divisions are emerging in Washington over how to use the U.S.'s financial leverage over the Taliban government in Afghanistan amid warnings that the country faces an economic and humanitarian disaster.

While some in the policy establishment argue that freezing the regime out of international aid programs risks further harming the Afghan people, conservative lawmakers say there should be no letup in the financial pressure on the Islamist group.

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