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Unpaid and Probably Stateless, Afghan Diplomats Search Permission to Stay in U.S.

The providers usher in $2,000 to $3,000 in charges every month, Mr. Nejrabi mentioned — sufficient to maintain the lights and different utilities on, however too little to pay salaries. That has left the diplomats and their households — about 65 individuals in all — scrambling to make ends meet.

They aren’t alone: Public staff throughout Afghanistan have additionally not been paid as Washington issues conflicting guidance over whether or not American sanctions must be enforced towards Afghan authorities financial institution accounts that are actually, in concept, managed by the Taliban. The freezing of property of the Afghan Central Financial institution has precipitated a liquidity disaster that has uncovered eight million people to doable hunger in a rustic torn by conflict, drought and acute poverty.

The sanctions have been imposed towards the Taliban years in the past, when it was designated as a global terrorist organization. In October, after the group seized energy, Citibank froze the Washington embassy’s accounts and withheld what Mr. Nejrabi mentioned was a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} designated for salaries that the previous Afghan authorities had deposited months earlier than it was ousted.

U.S. officers have tried, unsuccessfully, to guarantee Citibank that it could not be penalized if the Afghan funds have been unlocked. The financial institution’s spokesman, Rob Runyan, declined to remark.

“Our precedence all alongside has been to determine a solution to facilitate a comfortable touchdown for the Afghan diplomats who’re in the US,” mentioned Mark Evans, the State Division’s director for Afghanistan affairs. “Clearly, they’re in very troublesome circumstances by means of no fault of their very own, and we needed to be as supportive as doable.”

Nonetheless, the Biden administration has refused to acknowledge the Taliban as a official authorities. Till that occurs — if it ever does — officers mentioned the State Division wouldn’t accredit any diplomats the group sends to Washington.

Whereas the Afghan authorities owns the embassy constructing in Washington, the State Division is chargeable for sustaining the property if its envoys are unable to take action. Management of Afghanistan’s diplomatic missions stays on the forefront of the battle for energy between the Taliban and their opponents over worldwide recognition and assist.

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