The Afghanistan Embassy in New Delhi has announced its decision to cease operations from October 1, 2023. This move comes as a result of several key factors that have hindered the embassy's ability to function effectively.
In a statement issued by the embassy, it expressed deep regret and disappointment over this decision, emphasizing the historical ties and partnership between Afghanistan and India. Among the primary reasons cited for this "unfortunate closure" are a "lack of support from the host government" and a "failure to meet expectations in serving Afghanistan's interests."
Press Statement— Afghan Embassy India (@AfghanistanInIN) September 30, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 30th September, 2023
Afghanistan is closing its Embassy in New Delhi.
The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New Delhi regrets to announce the decision to cease its operations, effective October 1, 2023. pic.twitter.com/BXesWPdLFP
The embassy acknowledged its shortcomings in meeting expectations, partly due to the absence of a legitimate functioning government in Kabul and a lack of diplomatic support in India. Additionally, unforeseen circumstances led to a significant reduction in both personnel and resources, making it increasingly challenging to carry out routine duties, PTI reported.
The statement highlighted the frustration within the embassy's team due to the lack of timely and sufficient support, including visa renewals for diplomats and other critical areas of cooperation. As a result, the embassy has decided to close all operations, with the exception of emergency consular services to Afghan citizens, until the transfer of custodial authority to the host country is completed.
Ambassador Farid Mamundzay, who was appointed by the previous Ashraf Ghani government and continued his role even after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, has been heading the embassy. The embassy had previously faced a power struggle, with reports of the Taliban appointing a charge d'affaires, but it later clarified that there was no change in its leadership.
India has not recognized the Taliban set-up and has advocated for the formation of an inclusive government in Kabul while emphasizing that Afghan soil should not be used for terrorist activities against any country.
The embassy stressed that its decision is in the best interest of the Afghan people and, in accordance with international conventions, all property and facilities will be transferred to the custodial authority of the host country.
Addressing speculations, the embassy categorically refuted claims of internal strife or diplomats seeking asylum in a third country, stating that they remain a united team working for Afghanistan's best interests.
The embassy also requested the Indian government to consider four requests outlined in an earlier communication, including permitting the hoisting of the Afghan flag over embassy properties and facilitating a smooth transition of assets to a legitimate government in Kabul in the future.
Lastly, the embassy expressed its eagerness to reach an agreement with the Indian government at the earliest possible juncture and emphasized its belief that certain consulate activities are not in line with the objectives of a legitimate or elected government in Afghanistan.