Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in Kabul on February 2, over threats of possible attack by ISIS on the diplomatic mission.
The Foreign Ministry confirmed to Khaama Press that diplomats and employees of the embassy have been evacuated to Islamabad, and the exact return date is not clear.
ISIS was planning an attack on the Saudi diplomatic mission in Kabul using a car bomb according to an official source from Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry. The threats prompted them to close the embassy and evacuate its employees to Islamabad.
Saudi Arabia’s embassy was located in the Shash Darak locality, falling under the so-called green zone, one of the safest and most secure areas in the capital Kabul.
Saudi Arabia was one of the few countries which reopened its embassy in Kabul in November 2021, three months after the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, and sent its 14 diplomats to Afghanistan.
However, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid stated that Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic mission has not been closed in Kabul. “Saudi diplomats have traveled to Riyadh for training and will return to Kabul after a week or so,” he said.
Meanwhile, reports emerged on Sunday over the closure of certain embassies in Kabul, including that of Turkey, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. However, official sources confirmed to Khaama Press that they have not closed and are continuing their normal day-to-day activities.
Since the overthrow of the previous government in August 2021, most diplomatic missions closed. As of now, only 12 embassies are operational in Kabul, including Turkey, India, UAE, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Qatar and China.
Over the past couple of months, ISIS has launched terror attacks on the embassy of Russia and Pakistan, as well as a Chinese-run hotel in the heart of Kabul.
On top of other issues, security remains a critical challenge for the Islamic Emirate government of Kabul. The security situation in Kabul and other major cities of Afghanistan has deteriorated with each passing day.