Australia closes its embassy in Kabul, others scale back


Team Udayavani, May 25, 2021, 5:36 PM IST

Kabul: Australia is shutting its embassy in the Afghan capital later this week, citing security concerns ahead of the final withdrawal of US and NATO troops in what US President Joe Biden has called the end of America’s “forever war.”

Australia announced the temporary closure on Tuesday, and it is to take effect at the end of the week.

A number of other embassies in the beleaguered Afghan capital have sent home non-essential personnel warned their nationals against travelling to Afghanistan and urged those already in the country to consider leaving.

Several embassies contacted by The Associated Press declined to give details of their plans, but many are reported to have scaled back non-essential personnel. That includes the US Embassy, which last month ordered home its non-essential workers.

The last of the 2,500 to 3,500 U.S. troops and 7,000 NATO-allied troops will be gone by September 11, generating fears that their departures could increase the chaos and insecurity already plaguing the capital.

Violent attacks, many of them unclaimed, have targeted journalists and in many cases the country’s minority Shiite Muslims. The US blames those attacks on an upstart Islamic State affiliate.

Embassies in the Afghan capital are located in a so-called Green Zone, considered the most heavily protected. Giant blast walls, barbed wire and steel gates hide the embassies from public view. Streets in the capital have been closed to traffic to protect the buildings.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday it was committed to providing the embassies with security. But there is widespread concern about the ability of the government to provide that protection in a city overwhelmed by lawlessness, criminal gangs and insurgent activity.

Australian government lawmaker Dave Sharma, a former diplomat, said the reasons for the embassy’s closure were “temporary and really related to the ability to secure our staff and personnel when our defence contingent leaves.”

“Whatever we need to do in the short term to protect our people, of course, I support, but longer-term I think this is a relationship we should and must be in for the long haul,” he said in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Australia has 80 soldiers still in the country but at its peak, there were 15,000 Australian troops deployed to Afghanistan.

Australia’s military has been embroiled in allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan and Australia has established an investigative agency to build criminal cases against special forces suspected of committing crimes from 2005 until 2016.

Obaidullah Baheer, a political analyst in Kabul, was critical of Australia’s decision to close and of other embassies to scale back, saying it undermined faith in the abilities of the Afghan government to provide security.

“Such a move will be seen as a sign of the Australian government’s lack of faith in the republic to defend itself against the Taliban,” he said.

However, the Taliban’s political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press it would not harm diplomats and would cooperate to ensure their security.

“They should not have any concerns,” he said.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Money Laundering case: Delhi court grants bail to Arvind Kejriwal

India win toss, opt to bat against Afghanistan in Super 8 match

Karnataka HC dismisses Iraqi national’s petition seeking to enter India citing visa violations

NEET row: Rahul Gandhi doing petty politics, alleges BJP

Renukaswamy murder case: Bengaluru court extends police custody of actor Darshan, 3 others

Ullal: Verbal altercation ensues between cops and activists over alleged manhandling of BJP Yuva Morcha leader

People living here should learn Kannada, develop love for the language: CM Siddaramaiah

Related Articles More

Hundreds died during Hajj in Saudi Arabia amid intense heat

Kuwait blaze: 3 Indians, 4 Egyptians detained in connection with massive fire that killed 50 people, mostly Indians

On 39th anniversary of Kanishka bombing, India says it stands at the forefront of countering terrorism

Biden offers legal status to 500K immigrants

Six arrested for chopping off camel’s leg in Pakistan; to receive prosthetic leg from Dubai

MUST WATCH

Taranga Magazine

Gururaj Gantihole

Nalanda University

R. Ashoka

Woman falls 300 feet into valley while reversing car


Latest Additions

False news case in Noida: Bengaluru Police serves notice to social media influencer Ajeet Bharti

No complaints against UGC-NET; exam cancelled to safeguard students’ interest: Education Ministry

Ballari: No plans to raise bus fares, says CM Siddaramaiah

TN BJP seeks CBI probe into Kallakurichi hooch tragedy

International banks want Karnataka to revive Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.