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Isolated and deprived of funds, the Afghan embassy in Washington will close

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(Washington) The Afghan embassy in the United States will close next week, a senior US State Department official said on Saturday, as Afghan diplomats are cut off from their capital and running out of funds.

Twenty-five diplomats, who represented the Afghan state in Washington before its fall to the Taliban last August, will soon no longer be able to benefit from their status and will have to, within a month, apply for a new visa to stay in the United States. with their families, the official told AFP.

American diplomacy thus intends, in coordination with them and as of next week, “to facilitate an orderly closure of operations so as to protect and preserve all of the properties of the diplomatic mission in the United States until operations can resume,” the senior official said on condition of anonymity.

The Taliban are not recognized by the international community and have not taken over the real control of the diplomatic missions of the previous government, which are no longer financed and often held by diplomats loyal to the former pro-Western government.

“The Afghan embassy and consulates (in Los Angeles and New York, editor’s note) are experiencing significant financial difficulties, their bank accounts are not available”, continues this American official, specifying that this freezing is not the fact from the United States but from the banks.

A few hundred thousand dollars are stuck there.

“We do not intend to accredit diplomats appointed by the Taliban at this time,” notes this source within the US State Department. “It would be something that would happen much later, if we decided to move closer to official recognition” of the Taliban as legitimate authority in Kabul.

He specifies that no discussion was held with the Taliban about this embassy closure.

In January, the Afghan ambassador to Beijing resigned after months without any funding from Kabul.

In early February, after a Taliban delegation visited Norway for discussions with several Western diplomats, the Taliban’s foreign minister told AFP that his government was “closer” to recognition.

“It is our right, the right of the Afghans”, added Amir Khan Muttaqi, “the international community wishes to have interactions with us”.



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