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

Taliban forces in Afghanistan on 6 September 2021 [Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat/Anadolu Agency]
Taliban forces in Afghanistan on 6 September 2021 [Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat/Anadolu Agency]

Japan, on Thursday, said it will continue to have "working-level discussions with the Taliban", who are leading an interim government in Afghanistan, Anadolu News Agency reports.

"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 stabilisation 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 15 August, the day the Taliban regained control of the country as the foreign forces exited the country and the US-backed administration collapsed.

READ: Taliban claims humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan predates group's rise to power

"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 organisations 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 realise 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.

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