Taliban does not pay salary, Afghan ambassador to China quits job

The Taliban have not paid the ambassador to China since coming to power last August, prompting the diplomat to leave office.

In a handover letter dated January 1 posted on Twitter, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to China Javid Ahmad Qaem said that Kabul has not been paid since August and many diplomats at the embassy have left.

“There are many reasons, both personal and professional, but I don’t want to mention them here,” he said of his decision.

China shares a short border with Afghanistan and Beijing has sent humanitarian aid to the country since the Taliban regained control. In the letter, Qaem said a new person had been appointed at the embassy, ​​but only named “Mr Sadaat”.

Afghan Ambassador to China Javid Ahmad Qaem gives an interview in the embassy in Beijing in August 2021.  Photo: Reuters.

Afghan Ambassador to China Javid Ahmad Qaem gives an interview in the embassy in Beijing in August 2021. Photo: Reuters.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Qaem’s successor.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press conference on January 11 that Qaem had left China, but did not detail when or where he arrived.

International governments, including China, do not recognize the Taliban’s government as legitimate. The tough sanctions crippled Afghanistan’s public finances.

In the letter, Qaem said that as of January 1, there were 100,000 in one embassy bank account and an undisclosed amount in another. The letter noted that the keys to the five embassy cars would be left in Qaem’s office and that the two cars would need to be removed.

“I have paid wages to all local employees until January 20, 2022. Their work is done,” he added.

Since last August, China has called on the Taliban to pursue peaceful policies. Beijing also called on Western powers to end sanctions and send aid to Afghanistan.

Huyen Le (Follow Reuters)

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