FILE: Iran Flag

Kabul, Afghanistan – The Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan in its bid for formal recognition established diplomatic ties with Iranian government, adding up to the list of at least five other countries who have previously accredited the Taliban-appointed diplomats.

Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkmenistan have accredited the Islamic Emirate’s appointed diplomat in recent months, though all had initially refused to recognize the 8-month-old government in Afghanistan.

While the Taliban government considers the decision yet another stepping stones toward formal recognition, the Iranian Foreign Ministry clarifies the move limits within certain “engagement” only – not a formal recognition.

“Iran is willing to address some issues via engagement, the two countries share a long border and things like drug and human smuggling happen along the border, so Iran wants to solve these things by engagement,” said Sayed Noorullah Raghi, an Afghan former diplomat, as TOLOnews reported.

“The sending of diplomats between capitals and embassies is something normal … and does not mean recognition,” said Saeed Khatibzadah, Iranian FM spokesman.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Emirate government said its diplomate are operating in several counties, providing consulate services. But the leadership refused to comment on the latest tie with Tehran, saying they do not have enough information on hand.

“Our diplomats are busy with consulate services in many countries, but specifically about Iran, still no information is available,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of Islamic Emirate.

Most Afghans fleeing to Iran are doing so in an irregular manner through unofficial border crossing, as official border points remain closed for entry to persons without valid passports and visa intending to seek asylum in the neighboring country.

“This move (diplomatic ties between Afghanistan and Iran) will increase engagement and the Islamic Emirate will be aware of movements happening between countries, especially about Afghan refugees in Iran,” said Abbas Hussaini, an Afghan journalist in Iran.

Afghanistan-Iran border is about 921km in length, running from the tripoint with Turkmenistan in the north to the tripoint with Pakistan in the south.

Who else with Kabul has Established Diplomatic Ties?

On April 11, the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan in its bid for formal recognition established diplomatic ties with Russian government, asserting the right to lead Afghan embassies for better services to its fellow citizen. 

“The government’s envoy received credential form Moscow. We thank Russia for this move and hope to provide consular services for our compatriots in the country,” said Inammullah Samangani, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirates, as TOLOnews quoted.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova regards such accomplishment a resumption of full-fledged diplomatic relation, saying it was too early to “talk about official recognition of the Taliban.”

“We regard this as a step towards the resumption of full-fledged diplomatic contract,” said Zakharova, as Voice of America quoted, adding it was early to discuss full recognition of the Islamic Emirate and any further details could cause confusion among the group.

“Now is not the time to take any steps to lend credibility to the Taliban or normalize relations,” the spokesperson said in response to a query from VOA. “This move sends the wrong signal to the Taliban.”

China, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan have also accredited the Islamic Emirate’s appointed diplomat in recent months, though all had initially refused to recognize the 8-month-old government in Afghanistan.

Taliban takeover last August lead the United States and other Western countries to shutting down their diplomatic posts in Kabul. They, however, have maintained contact with the group to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aids into the country.

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