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US government takes control of Afghan embassy, consulates after they cease operations

Diplomats and officials, representing the erstwhile Afghan government, had been facing severe financial difficulties among other issues, making the day-to-day operations of the missions unsustainable. The State Department has also said that it would bar anyone from entering them without its permission until further notice

May 18, 2022
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US government takes control of Afghan embassy (Photo: Wikipedia)

Authorities in the United States have effectively taken control of Afghan embassies and consulates in the country after they ceased operations due to various operational difficulties, including financial constraints, after the collapse of the former US-backed Afghan government in Kabul last year. 

The State Department confirmed on Tuesday that it had assumed “sole responsibility” for the security and maintenance of the Afghan embassy in Washington and consulates in New York and Beverly Hills, California.

Diplomats and officials, representing the erstwhile Afghan government, had been facing severe financial difficulties among other issues, making the day-to-day operations of the missions unsustainable. The State Department has also said that it would bar anyone from entering them without its permission until further notice.

“Until further notice, the Department of State's Office of Foreign Missions has assumed sole responsibility for ensuring the protection and preservation of the property of the referenced missions, including but not limited to all real and tangible property, furnishings, archives, and financial assets of the Afghan Embassy or its consular posts in the United States,” the Department said in a notice to be published on May 18 in the Federal Register.

The move, which officials claim was in agreement with Afghan diplomats, came after the department determined that the embassy and consulates had “formally ceased conducting diplomatic and consular activities in the United States" at noon on May 16.

Last year in August, the Taliban stormed to power in Kabul, toppling the erstwhile US-backed democratic Afghan government, after waging the insurgency for almost two decades. However, no country has recognized the regime after it failed to form an inclusive government and honor its previous commitment to respecting human rights.

Although the group is yet to gain legitimacy in the international community, Taliban officials have so far managed to take control of their embassies in Moscow, Beijing, Islamabad, and Tehran.

(SAM)

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