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Australia plans to cut diplomatic ties, Afghanistan vows safety of diplomats

Australia plans to cut diplomatic ties, Afghanistan vows safety of diplomats

Kabul: Following Australia's decision to close its embassy in Kabul amid an increasingly uncertain security situation, the Afghan Foreign Minister on Tuesday made it clear that the Afghan government is committed to ensuring the safety and security of foreign organisations and diplomatic missions.

"Based on the international laws and conventions, and within the framework of agreements with friendly countries, the Afghan government remains obligated to ensure the security of diplomatic missions and the safety of diplomatic and consular representatives," the Ministry said in a statement.

"We hope, as mentioned in the Australian government statement, that this measure will be temporary, and Australia will soon resume its permanent presence in Afghanistan," the Ministry added.

As Australia's embassy building will be closing on Friday, officials visiting Afghanistan in future will be from a post elsewhere in the region, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a joint statement.

The move "does not alter our commitment to Afghanistan or its people", Payne and Morrison said.

"It is Australia's expectation that this measure will be temporary and that we will resume a permanent presence in Kabul once circumstances permit," the statement said.

Afghanistan is in a state of uncertainty after US President Joe Biden announced that American troops will pull out from the country by September 11, 2021, after almost 20 years.

Following the suit, almost 10,000 NATO soldiers from the Resolute Support training mission, including 2,500 soldiers from the US and around 1,100 from Germany, the two biggest contingents, are due to leave the country.

Australia has 80 troops remaining in Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission.

Since the withdrawal officially began on May 1, the Taliban have intensified attacks on provincial capitals, districts, bases and checkpoints.

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