Udayavni Special

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

Court seeks IMA chief’s response on suit seeking public apology for ‘derogatory remarks’ against Ayurveda

Karnataka Unlock: State govt relaxes curb in districts with 5% positivity; extends lockdown in DK, 12 other districts

Milkha Singh cremated with full state honours

India ‘misrepresenting’ ICJ verdict in Jadhav case: Pak

Central ministries, Assam govt to meet on resuming coal mining: CM

Calcutta HC grants bail to Saradha chit fund scam accused

Committees formed to prepare academic curriculum: Ashwath Narayan



Related Articles More

India ‘misrepresenting’ ICJ verdict in Jadhav case: Pak

Hard-line judiciary head wins Iran presidency

WHO working with AstraZeneca, SII, Indian govt to restart vax shipment

North Korean leader swears to overcome economic hardships

UN assembly condemns Myanmar coup, calls for arms embargo

MUST WATCH

Belgaum Rescue operation

Remembering Milkha Singh

Dr Ravi Shankar Shetty | Oxygen Condenser Donation

Vaccination drive for teachers, no social distancing followed

Impact of COVID-19 on public transport

Latest Additions

When Anupam Kher was rejected by AIR Shimla for casual announcer job

WTC Final: Kohli battles on as India reach 120 for 3 at tea on Day 2

Court seeks IMA chief’s response on suit seeking public apology for ‘derogatory remarks’ against Ayurveda

Karnataka Unlock: State govt relaxes curb in districts with 5% positivity; extends lockdown in DK, 12 other districts

Stay home and celebrate yoga day on Jun 21: Karnataka Health Minister

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

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