WASHINGTON “The United States has taken control of the Afghan embassy in Washington and the country’s consulates in New York and Beverly Hills, California,” the State Department said Tuesday.
The State Department said it had assumed “sole responsibility” for the security and maintenance of the diplomatic missions operating on Monday, and banned anyone from entering them without his permission until further notice.
The move came after the department determined that the embassy and consular offices “formally stopped diplomatic and consular activities in the United States” at noon on May 16.
The United States does not recognize the new Taliban government in Afghanistan, which came to power last year after the withdrawal of American and allied troops, and has no formal diplomatic relations with the country.
“Until further notice, the Office of Foreign Missions of the State Department has assumed sole responsibility for the protection and preservation of the property of these missions, including but not limited to all real and material property, furniture, archives and financial assets of the Afghan Embassy or Consular Offices in the United States. “- said in a statement to be published on Wednesday in the Federal Register.
The missions were identified as the Afghan Embassy in Washington and consulates in Little Neck, New York, and Beverly Hills, California.
A spokesman for the department said the U.S. had taken control of the facilities under an agreement with former Afghan government diplomats who faced “severe financial constraints that made further operations unsustainable.” The official said the move did not indicate any change in U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and that it did not affect the Afghan mission to the UN.
The department noted that Afghanistan did not request a third country as a “guardian” for its facilities or interests in the United States. Ever since Washington closed its embassy in Kabul, Qatar has served as a U.S. security guard in Afghanistan.
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