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EU arms embargo on Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden

Since 1996 the EU has placed various arms embargoes on Afghanistan, including the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. From 2001 to 2002 the embargo was placed only on those areas controlled by the Taliban. Since 2002 the embargo is a non-geographical embargo on Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the Taliban. 

In 1996 the European Community and its Member States decided to impose an arms embargo on Afghanistan. Due to the invasion of Afghanistan by US- forces and their allies in 2001, the embargo had to be readjusted. On 26 February 2001 the EU amended the scope of the arms embargo imposed on Afghanistan through Common Position 2001/154/CFSP to make it compatible with the new United Nations Security Council resolution 1333, which applies to the areas of Afghanistan under the control of the Taliban only.

In November 2001 the EU amended the scope of the arms embargo through Common Position 2001/771/CFSP. The effect of the new decision was that the arms embargo no longer applied to the entire territory of Afghanistan but instead applied only to the territory of Afghanistan under Taliban control as designated by the UN Sanctions Committee.

In May 2002 the EU repealed Common Positions 96/746/CFSP, 1999/727/CFSP, 2001/154/CFSP and 2001/771/CFSP and implemented Common Position 2002/402/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Osama bin Laden, members of the Al-Qaeda organisation and the Taliban and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them. This broadened the geographical scope of the embargo from a part of Afghanistan to a global coverage.

Last updated on
Embargo type: EU embargoes
Entry into force:
Establishing document: 2002/402/CFSP