Japan mulls reopening of embassy in Kabul during 'working-level' discussions with Taliban

Tokyo’s envoy pays 4-day visit to Afghanistan, meets Taliban leaders

2021-11-25 13:17:14

ISTANBUL

Japan on Thursday said it will continue to have “working-level discussions with the Taliban”, who are leading an interim government in Afghanistan.

“Japan will continue to have working-level discussions with the Taliban and continue to make our utmost efforts to secure the safety of Japanese nationals and local staff and provide the necessary support for departure, as well as contribute to the stabilization of Afghanistan,” a statement by the country's Foreign Ministry said.

The statement was issued after Japan's Ambassador Takashi Okada paid a four-day visit to the war-torn country where he met top officials, including interim deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar.

Reopening the Japanese Embassy in Kabul was also discussed.

Japan had closed its embassy and shifted operations to Qatar on Aug. 15, the day the Taliban regained control of the country as the foreign forces exited the country and the US-backed administration collapsed.

“The government is considering an option of resuming the embassy's functions with only local staff, but the timing of the resumption needs to be coordinated with other countries,” a Japanese Foreign Ministry official told Tokyo-based Kyodo News.

He said Japan is implementing assistance through international organizations to respond to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

“Ambassador Okada stressed the importance of respecting the rights of all Afghan people, including women and minorities, building an inclusive political system, and preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorism,” the statement added.

Okada urged the interim government to “ensure the safety of Japanese nationals and local staff and realize a quick and safe passage for those who wish to leave the country.”

Okada also met former President Hamid Karzai and ex-chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.