Afghanistan Promises to Protect Embassy, as Australia's Kabul Mission Closes - Pak Afghan Youth Forum PAYF

Afghan officials promised on Friday to protect embassies and foreigners operating in the country. This occurred after Australia announced to shut down its embassy in Kabul. According to the Australian authorities, they took this decision on the grounds of security concerns in Afghanistan.

The Afghan government forces are engaged in heavy fighting with the Taliban in half of the country’s 34 provinces since early May. The Australian government announced earlier this week that it would close its embassy. They stated that it is because of the “increasingly uncertain security environment”. The security environment after the US announced it would pull out its remaining troops by September 11.

In Spite of numerous attempts to contact Australian diplomats, they were unavailable for comment. However, an official from the Afghan foreign ministry who was not authorised to speak to the media confirmed to Arab News that the embassy’s operations were ceased on Friday.

Afghan Interior Ministry to Provide Security to Foreign Nationals

Moreover, following Australia’s announcement; the Afghan Interior Ministry stated that it has the resources to provide a “secure environment” for international visitors. An Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, Tariq Arian told Arab News; “We are in charge of providing security for embassies and foreigners working in Afghanistan.”

Furthermore, he said, “We have safeguards in place and the necessary commitment to offering a safe atmosphere for them here.”

The Taliban Gave Assurances of Safety

Subsequently, the Taliban also committed not to pose a threat to foreign diplomats. This includes international organisations, journalists, or members of civil society. The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Arab News; “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan promises all of them that we would not pose any risks to them. We will instead provide them with a safe environment.”

However, as the chances of Kabul and the Taliban reconciling to end decades of conflict are waning, there are fears that the latter may try to seize control by force.

In late April, the US State Department ordered nonessential government personnel to leave Afghanistan due to security concerns after Washington failed to meet a May 1 deadline for troop withdrawals agreed to by the previous US administration in February last year arrangement with the Taliban.

Lastly, according to foreign media reports, the United Kingdom has also contemplated moving its embassy closer to the American mission in the heart of Kabul’s so-called “Green Zone.”


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