The U.N Security Council has split the U.N. sanctions list for Taliban and al-Qaeda to induce Taliban to join the peace talks in Afghanistan.
The 15-member Council voted on Friday night to adopt two resolutions -- a new blacklist of individuals and organizations linked to al-Qaeda and another of those connected with Taliban whose activities focus on Afghanistan, Reuters reported.
The move comes as Washington prepares to start pulling out its troops from Afghanistan in July as a process to hand over all operations against Taliban insurgents to Afghan security forces by 2014.
The United States believes that the new sanctions regime for Afghanistan will serve as an important tool to promote reconciliation, while isolating extremists, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in a statement.
The two lists are aimed at highlighting the differences between al-Qaida's global jihadist and the Taliban.
Wittig, who has chaired the Taliban/al Qaeda sanctions committee, described the changes as a major step forward to clear and fair procedures.
On the Taliban blacklist, Wittig said the Afghan government would have to be consulted on all matters regarding the listings.
Afghanistan's U.N. ambassador, Zahir Tanin, told Reuters in a telephone interview earlier this week that the move gives us more flexibility. It will help to create a regime of engagement for people to join the peace process.
Tanin said that although it would not mean the end of sanctions against the Taliban, no longer lumping them with al Qaeda would be a psychological factor that could weigh with those Taliban considering giving up armed struggle.
Currently, there are 138 Taliban and 253 al Qaeda names on what will now be two separate U.N. blacklists.