by Barakat Azimi Hedoyatulloh
Image source:
November 17, 2021

The current situation has left many Afghan embassies in an extreme condition of uncertainty. In early September 2021, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan right after two decades of intensive attempts of battle made by the movement against the Constitution of a government that was on the way to achieving its dreams of peace. On this ground, the major countries and the neighboring countries of Afghanistan stated their position (including the Russian Federation, the USA, Pakistan, Iran, China, India, Uzbekistan, and others). That they were not in a hurry in terms of recognizing the Taliban government as a legitimate government. Seemingly, yet the movement is not going to be recognized as a legitimate government soon. However, at some level, the Taliban have already achieved de facto recognition through diplomatic negotiations with a number of countries (as mentioned above). In line with that, whether or not the host states would acknowledge the brand new authorities is of political interest.

Moreover, for the Taliban to enter the international arena, they need to pass three core tests. Firstly, its members should be excluded from the terroristic lists. Secondly, the Taliban should establish an inclusive government. Thirdly, they must respect the rights of Afghans and avoid further immoral acts.

While the destiny of Afghanistan’s embassies is written on thin ice, the Taliban takeover leaves Afghan diplomats in limbo. Regarding that, Afghan diplomats are putting on a brave face as they battle the fall of their home country to the Taliban. Indeed, some of the country’s embassies across the world have become points of resistance against the Taliban. Consequently, Afghan diplomats are now wrestling with the financial flow to keep overseas missions operating. Nonetheless, several embassy staff in countries including the UK, Qatar, India, and Greece, who spoke to TRT world, said the missions were running on “low capacity” due to lack of money.

Embassies are not working in the same way. A former member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan told Pajhwok Afghan News that,  “Some embassies were still led by former minister Hanif Atmar and the vice-president Amrullah Saleh. Furthermore, some embassies remained neutral”. Apparently, some of the embassies are working independently, and the character of their income is unknown. However, there are several embassies, which are now in contact with the brand new administration.   

Some of the Afghan embassies refuse to have contact with the Taliban administration. At present, most of Afghanistan’s embassies have minimized ties with the Kabul administration, inter alia:

  • Afghan embassy in Russia:

Said Jawad, a pro-Western politician, and ambassador for the Russian federation made two clarifications on this ground:

“The Russian Foreign Ministry has assured us that recognition of the Taliban regime is not even on the table, and until such recognition takes place, Russia will work with our embassy.”

“Afghanistan’s embassy in Moscow continues to fly the country’s old flag, and its official website refers to the Taliban as a terrorist organization.”

  • Afghan embassy in the USA:

Since the United States of America has not recognized the Taliban as the official rulers of Afghanistan but has hinted such recognition depending on whether the new regime protects human rights and prevents terrorist activities on Afghan soil. In terms of the embassy’s function, former ambassador Rahmani said:

There was enough money in the budget that the embassy could function for a long time even without new funds coming in from Kabul.”

Subsequently, Omar Samad, a former Afghan ambassador to France and Canada during former Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s tenure, mentioned two choices for the employees in Washington:

The people who work here for the embassy in Washington have two choices. One is a personal one, whether they want to work for a government or not. The second has to do with whether the embassy in Washington stays open and who runs it, and under whose authority does it run as a diplomatic mission. That will depend on what happens in Kabul and whether the U.S. will recognize [it]”.

  • Afghan embassy in Canada:

Hasan Soroosh, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Canada, said:

“My team and I in Ottawa will remain committed not to represent the Taliban, but the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”

  • Afghan embassy in Turkmenistan:

The tri-color flag of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has been hoisted in the new building of the Consulate General of Afghanistan in the province of Mari, Turkmenistan. The Consul General of Afghanistan in Mari has hosted the event on September 25, 2021. Moreover, many officials were invited to the inauguration, including the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Turkmenistan, the Head of the Representation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, and other Afghan diplomats.  More interestingly, in one of the new photos posted by the embassy on Facebook, a picture of Ahmad Masoud, son of Ahmad Shah Masoud was hung, defining as ahead of Afghanistan’s resistance front.

  • Afghan embassy in Tajikistan:

Ambassador of Afghanistan Muhammad Zaher Aghbar to Dushanbe, in his recent meeting with the newly appointed ambassador of the UK to Tajikistan, discussed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country. Further, he said:

“Even now the members of Taliban government are on the list of terrorism across the globe, so recognizing them is equal to recognition of a terroristic government.”

Now, who is in charge of the embassy in Uzbekistan? In response to this question, one of the staff members of Afghanistan’s embassy in Tashkent answered in a condition of anonymity that “the embassy in Tashkent was running by the head of the mission Ahmad Khalid Ilmiy.” Moreover, he mentioned two more statements. Firstly, “the embassy was getting letters and guidance on expenses as well as on its functions from the new government Emirate of Afghanistan.” Secondly, “however, until recognition of the new government, the embassy continues to use stamps and emblem of the Republic system, besides that the trio-color flag shall be hoisted until recognition of the new government.”

Historically, during the previous government of Taliban between 1992 and 2001, the Consul General of Afghanistan in New York continued to issue Afghan passports on behalf of the Rabbani government. At the same time, the Taliban government was also issuing passports from Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia. Correspondingly, the situation of two decades ago and now are all two-piece in a pod.

Furthermore, Hammed Hakimi, a research associate at  Chatham House, London- based global think-tank, elaborated his thoughts in this way, “embassies need to receive financial support from Afghanistan’s MFA for operational as well as personal costs, and the Taliban’s return to power has disrupted the financial flow.” Additionally, he mentioned two more key statements. Firstly, “this will, of course, present large segments of Afghan diaspora populations in many countries a huge challenge to access formal consular services for essential documents.” Secondly, “it is unlikely in my opinion that Afghan embassies will remain open and functional without funding from Kabul; if the Taliban are not recognized by the international community then it’s unfeasible for Afghan embassies to represent a non-existent Ghani administration or an unrecognized Taliban regime.”


In a nutshell, with a new government in place, the Taliban are pushing for international recognition of their government with a futile political system. Thus, so far, no nation has granted such recognition. Due to the reason that still some members of the Taliban’s administration are on the list of terrorists, and a number of other issues. Alternatively, the Taliban must satisfy the requirements of the major countries, as well as the neighboring countries of Afghanistan, to clarify the destiny of embassies. Consequently, they are not going to be recognized as a legitimate government soon because of the complexity of the situation. Moreover, even if the Taliban have merely approached de facto recognition through diplomatic negotiations, it does not mean that they can officially hoist their flag in the host countries. Nonetheless, recognition of the Taliban government is more of political interests than of international law perspective. Thus, it shall have an incredible influence on the function of the embassies.

Cite as: Barakat Azimi Hedoyatulloh, “Destiny of Afghan Embassies After the Collapse of the Republic System”, Uzbekistanlawblog, 17.11.2021