Afghan embassies all around the world have refused to recognize the Taliban regime and are fighting to stay afloat as they face pressure from Kabul to accept loyalist replacement, Agence France-Presse reported. 

None of the nation’s 60 or so ambassadors, heads of missions or consuls, who were appointed by the West-backed former president Ashraf Ghani have agreed to work for the hardline Islamist group from the time it seized power in August 2021

Since the Taliban government hasn’t been formally recognized by the international community, there is still a lot of discussions about how to deal with the country’s new leaders while helping Afghans face a humanitarian and economic crisis. 

Youssof Ghafoorzai, the ambassador to Norway, commented on this, saying “We are in a very unfortunate … situation, but we still have to continue to operate in these difficult circumstances”, and added, “The embassies still have a very important role to play in terms of trying to increase whatever humanitarian support is possible. But also (to help) discussions on the political track… to stabilise the situation”. 

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Cash reserves and other aid, which were frozen by the international community when the Taliban took power, are slowly beginning to trickle back into the country which has, for a long time, depended on its donors. 

However, Ghafoorzai and his colleagues haven’t been in contact with the new regime and their staff haven’t been paid in months. Notably, the Afghan embassy and its consulates in the US will be shut in the coming weeks. A US State Department official spoke to AFP, saying “The Afghan Embassy and consulates are under severe financial pressure. Their bank accounts are not available to them”, and added there were arrangements for an “orderly shutdown of operations in a way that would protect and preserve all diplomatic mission property in the United States until operations are able to resume”. 

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The story across the world is the same, with Afghan ambassadors being forced to scale down activities dramatically, reduce food costs and energy bills, and even move to smaller premises.