The State Department announced Tuesday that the US had taken control of Afghanistan’s embassy in Washington as well as its consulates in New York and California.
The State Department announced on Monday that it had taken “sole responsibility” for the security and maintenance of the diplomatic missions, and that no one could access them without its authorization until further notice.
The US does not recognize the new Taliban administration in Afghanistan, which came to power last year after American and allied troops withdrew, and does not have formal diplomatic relations with the country.
The Afghan embassy and consulate closed at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, March 16 and was handed over to US State Department officials during a brief ceremony at the Afghan embassy in Washington DC.
According to a department official, the US took control of the facilities after reaching an arrangement with former Afghan government ambassadors who were facing “severe financial constraints that made continued operations unsustainable.” The move, according to the official, did not reflect a shift in US policy toward Afghanistan and had no bearing on the Afghan UN mission.
Since April 20, the Afghan Embassy in Canada has offered consular services to Afghans living in the United States, following the shutdown of Afghanistan’s diplomatic missions in the United States.