Amid increasing security concerns, Saudi Arabia has shut its embassies in Afghanistan. This move is seen as a considerable setback for Kabul’s diplomatic relations with other nations, reported ANI citing ToloNews.
According to the reports, one of the major reasons for Saudi Arabia to do so is the Taliban’s ban on women in workplaces across Afghanistan. While another report says it is security concerns which contributed to their decision to leave.
As Reuters reported, a diplomatic source and two other sources said Saudi Arabia's diplomats had left by air and relocated to Pakistan late last week due to warnings of heightened risks of attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul.
A report by CNN-News18 citing diplomatic sources said that it was the ban on women in workspaces which forced Saudi Arabia to shut its embassy in Kabul as some female employees were working there.
However, the Taliban said their departure was temporary and not for security reasons. "Some employees of Saudi Arabia's embassy have gone out for a kind of training, and will return," Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban administration, said.
Earlier, the Czech government also announced that it has closed its embassy in Kabul, while other countries run their offices from Pakistan and Qatar. It was also not immediately made clear how many Saudi diplomats have left Afghanistan or how long they were meant to be outside Kabul. This comes a year after two Russian embassy staff members and four others were killed in a suicide bombing at the consulate’s front gate, the attack was later claimed by the Islamic State militant group.
Since the Taliban took over in 2021 only a few countries have maintained a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan including, China, Russia, Turkiye, Pakistan, and Iran, as per media reports.
Image source: Reuters