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Australia decides to close its embassy in Afghanistan

CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday announced that Australia will close its embassy in Afghanistan on Friday (May 28) amid growing fears for security in the capital Kabul over the ongoing withdrawal of US troops.

Scott Morrison said the embassy would close “provisionally” on May 28 “in light of the impending international military withdrawal from Afghanistan”, and that it would reopen “when circumstances permit”.

“Australia expects this measure to be temporary and we will resume a permanent presence in Kabul when circumstances permit,” said Scott Morrison.

Australian soldiers will also be leaving Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of them will have been deployed there in recent years at a cost of several billion dollars.

“The government was informed that the security arrangements necessary for a continued diplomatic presence could not be provided,” he explained.

The Americans and NATO began on May 1 a final withdrawal from Afghanistan which must be completed for the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. But this process was marked by renewed violence between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Peace negotiations between the Afghan government, which remains weak despite the efforts of its Western allies, and the Taliban insurgents are still at a standstill.

As the security situation in Afghanistan remains complicated and terrorism keeps festering, analysts deem the U.S. decision as irresponsible and warn against an intensifying civil conflict and more rampant terrorist acts.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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