Will continue to have robust diplomatic presence in Kabul: US Embassy

Will continue to have robust diplomatic presence in Kabul: US Embassy
Will continue to have robust diplomatic presence in Kabul: US Embassy

The US embassy in Kabul said on Monday that it would continue to operate in the country, as concerns of a shutdown rise given the uncertainty in Afghanistan amid the military pullout.
“The US Embassy in Kabul is open & will remain open. As directed by President Biden, we will continue to have a robust diplomatic presence in Kabul to carry out the range of work we do with the government and people of Afghanistan. We have no plans to close the Embassy,” the embassy said on Twitter.
“The US Embassy is constantly planning for contingencies & how to mitigate risks to our people & programs. We are aware of security challenges to operating in Afghanistan, & we will adjust our presence as necessary to address these challenges,” it added.
The embassy further stated that, “We are confident that we can conduct our work in a safe manner to the benefit of Afghanistan & the bilateral relationship. Similar to all of our missions overseas, the Embassy has well-developed security plans to safely protect our personnel & facilities.”
“As President Biden and Secretary Blinken have said, while the US military presence in Afghanistan is ending, the US Embassy will continue our diplomatic, humanitarian, and security assistance programs in Afghanistan,” it concluded.
On June 12, State Department said that the United States believed keeping an international diplomatic presence in Kabul required a “functioning, secure” airport, suggesting that embassies could be forced to close without one.
Read Pakistan embassy dismisses reports of consulate’s closure, diplomats’ relocation in Kabul
The statement came a day after a Taliban spokesperson effectively rejected Turkey’s proposal that its troops remain to guard and run the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the departure of the rest of the US-led foreign force.
The Taliban’s position poses serious questions for the United States, other countries and international organizations with missions in Kabul about how to evacuate personnel from landlocked Afghanistan should fighting threaten the capital.
“We underscore that a functioning, secure airport is essential to any international diplomatic presence and will benefit Afghan travelers and the Afghan economy,” the spokesperson said in response to the Taliban statement.
The spokesperson declined to elaborate. But their comment appeared to be a message to the Islamist Taliban that unless countries with embassies in Kabul feel that their diplomats can safely access a functioning airport, they could close their missions.
US officials have said they believe the insurgents seek international legitimacy and an end to their pariah status.
Australia shuttered its embassy in Kabul last month because of security concerns. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month vowed to keep the US embassy open.
President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw from America’s longest war, stalled peace talks and unrelenting violence are fueling fears that Afghanistan is headed into an all-out civil war that could return the Taliban to power.
Biden is expected to discuss the issue when he holds talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels on Monday.


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