Taliban Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi announced Sunday that the de-facto Taliban authorities were suspending consular services at the Afghan embassies to Austria and the United Kingdom due to the diplomatic missions’ lack of coordination with Taliban leadership. However, both embassies appear to remain open.
The Taliban’s announcement on X read, “Please note that these Embassies have not been transparent or coordinating their work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a result, all their services are herewith invalid until further notice, effective from October 8, 2023.”
A source in the Embassy of Afghanistan to the United Nations in Geneva spoke to JURIST on the lack of coordination between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s diplomatic missions, saying that:
Consular services in all embassies and representative offices continue according to the norms recognized by the Vienna Convention of 1962 and the legitimacy of the documents of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the international system. The embassies can not and [have] not processed Taliban sanctioned legal documents due to their non recognition. … Our council believes that the idea of divisiveness is aimed at creating confusion in the mentality of Afghan immigrants who already experience lots of trouble in their respective countries. The Taliban don’t leave me alone outside the country. This is [purely] political and pushing for … legitimacy.
Countries across the world have been reluctant to appoint diplomats to Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in August 2022. However, China announced it had sent a new ambassador to Afghanistan on September 13. Chinese ambassador Zhao Xing assumed position days earlier on September 8.