The Afghanistan Embassy in New Delhi has announced its decision to end its operations effective Sunday, 1 October, citing a "lack of support from the host government," failure to meet expectations in serving Afghanistan's interests, and reduction in personnel and resources.
In its three-page official statement released late Saturday night, the embassy said, "It is with profound sadness, regret, and disappointment that the Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi announces this decision to cease its operations."
The embassy said that while the decision was "deeply regrettable," it was made after careful consideration, taking into account the historic ties and long-standing partnership between Afghanistan and India.
'We Acknowledge Our Shortcomings'
The Afghan Embassy listed a few factors that prevented it from carrying out its mission effectively, citing them as the main reasons for the "unfortunate closure."
1. The embassy cited a "lack of support from the host government”, and alleged that it experienced a notable absence of crucial support from the host government, which it said hindered its ability to carry out duties effectively.
2. It also cited a "failure to meet expectations in serving Afghanistan's interest" as one of the reasons.
"We acknowledge our shortcomings in meeting the expectations and requirements necessary to serve the best interests of Afghanistan and its citizens due to the lack of diplomatic support in India and the absence of a legitimate functioning government in Kabul," the embassy said.
3. The embassy claimed that "unforeseen circumstances" significantly reduced the embassy's personnel and resources, making it increasingly difficult to continue operating.
"The lack of timely and sufficient support from visa renewal for diplomats to other critical areas of cooperation led to an understandable frustration among our team and impeded our ability to carry out routine duties effectively," it said.
Given these circumstances, “it is with deep regret that we have taken the difficult decision to close all operations of the mission with the exception of emergency consular services to Afghan citizens till the transfer of the custodial authority of the mission to the host country,” it said.
In accordance with Article 45 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), all property and facilities of the Embassy will be transferred to the custodial authority of the host country, the embassy added.
Afghan Embassy Refutes 'Baseless Claims' On Internal Strife
The statement by the Afghan Embassy went on to refute, what it described as “baseless claims”, of strife among the diplomatic staff. The Embassy also claimed that no member of the staff had sought asylum in a third country.
“Such rumours are unfounded and do not reflect the reality of our mission,” it said.
The embassy also said it would like to verify the “authenticity” of an earlier communication with the Ministry of External Affairs regarding the intent to close the mission.
“This communication accurately represents our decision-making process and the factors leading to the closure,” the statement read.
The embassy has been headed by Ambassador Farid Mamundzay.
According to news agency PTI, the clarification came in the wake of news reports in April-May that the Taliban would appoint a charge d’affaires to replace Mamundzay as the head of the Embassy.
Mamundzay was appointed by the previous Ashraf Ghani government and he has been operating as the Afghan envoy even after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021.