Riyadh ‘shuts down’ Kabul embassy; Taliban deny
Owing to security concerns, Saudi Arabia has allegedly shut down its embassy in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
There are reports that the Czech government has also closed down its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan.
In a statement issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, their embassy in Kabul has been closed due to the fear of a possible attack by the Islamic State. It further said the diplomats and staffers of the embassy have been shifted to Islamabad.
The Afghan media quoted officials of the Saudi Foreign Ministry that IS was planning to target the embassy with a car bomb.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s Taliban administration refuted the reports, claiming on Monday that Saudi diplomats have left for “training” and will return.
According to Reuters, 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 Kabul.
The Afghan Taliban said the diplomats’ 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, as reported by Reuters.
It was not immediately clear how long the Saudi diplomats intended to be based outside Afghanistan, or how many had left the country.