Following the Taliban’s takeover of power, Afghanistan’s ambassador to China, Javid Ahmad Qaem, resigned after months without pay from Kabul.
“Many embassy diplomats had already left, and Kabul had not sent them a salary since August,” Qaem wrote in a handover letter.
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“There are many personal and professional reasons,” he explained, “but I don’t want to go into them now.”
China has a short border with Afghanistan, and since the Taliban’s brutal return in August, Beijing has sent humanitarian aid there.
Qaem stated in his letter that a new person had been assigned to the embassy, only naming him Mr. Sadaat. A request for comment on Qaem’s successor was not immediately returned by the Afghan foreign ministry.
Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said in a daily briefing on Tuesday that Qaem had left the country but did not say when or where.
The Taliban government has not been recognized as legitimate by international governments, including China. The country’s public finances were crippled by harsh sanctions.
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Hundreds of Afghan diplomats abroad are in limbo as a result of the Taliban’s unexpected return to power, fearful for their families back home and desperate to seek refuge abroad.