Afghanistan permanently closes its Delhi Embassy

The Embassy claimed that the decision to close and to transfer to the custodial authority of the mission to the host country is in best interest of Afghanistan.

Embassy of Afghanistan, New Delhi / Image - Wikipedia

The Afghanistan Embassy in New Delhi has announced permanent closure with effect from November 23, 2023, owing to persistent challenges from the Indian Government.

In an official statement, the embassy explained that the decision followed the cessation of operations on September 20, 2023, when the Afghan ambassador and other diplomats left India.  

“Unfortunately, despite an eight-week wait, the objectives of visa extension for diplomats and a shift in the Indian government’s conduct were not realised. Given the constant pressure from both the Taliban and the Indian government to relinquish control, the embassy faced a difficult choice,” the statement from the mission said.

Noting that India has been a steadfast strategic partner for the erstwhile Afghan Republic since 2001, the Delhi mission clarified that its closure is not due to an internal conflict, allegedly involving diplomats who switched allegiance to the Taliban, but due to “broader changes in policy and interests.” 

It further informed that all diplomats from the Afghan Republic have left India, and those that are present operate for the Taliban. 

"The diplomats of the Afghan Republic have handed over the mission solely to the Indian government. It now rests upon the Indian government to decide the fate of the mission, whether to maintain its closure or consider alternatives, including the possibility of handing it over to Taliban diplomats. The responsibility of diplomats appointed by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has officially come to an end," it said.

After the Delhi mission announced its closure, two Afghan diplomats from Mumbai and Hyderabad have taken up joint-leadership of embassy. Meanwhile, India has refused to acknowledge the Taliban administration in Afghanistan and has not resumed diplomatic activities at its embassy in Kabul after closing it in August 2021.