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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_diplomatic_missions_of_Afghanistan

Surprisingly, Afghanistan had many diplomatic missions throughout the world. I am wondering what may happen to them in the future. I am guessing what it will do to the missions in the West will be different to what it will do to the missions in Russia and China.

Russian and Chinese embassies are the only diplomatic missions functioning normally in Afghanistan and are being guarded by Taliban militants.

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2021/08/17/Russia-China-embassies-are-only-diplomatic-missions-functioning-in-Afghanistan

The Taliban are likely to normalize relationships with Russia and China as soon as possible, so I think they will just leave them there, but about the other ones, I am not sure what's gonna happen.

What may happen to the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan once the Taliban takes over? I am wondering what the host country can do to them and are likely to do to them and what the new Afghanistan government can do to them and is likely to do to them. Since there is no one to fund them, my guess is that they will be disbanded, but I am not entirely sure. Certainly, there must be some historical precedents that can tell us about what may happen in the future.

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  • No one to fund them? That will only be true if the new government of Afghanistan decides to stop funding them.
    – phoog
    Aug 21 at 13:21
  • Yeah, this is definitely opinion based and also quite broad. However, I think it can be rephrased to something that is narrower and can allow more objective answers. Tt may even need to be broken up into multiple questions regarding, for instance, ways Western countries can or are likely to keep diplomatic relations with a government like Talibans, and also how they've done so in the past.
    – Avatrin
    Aug 22 at 6:52
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    A general version of this specific question: What happens to an embassy when the country it represents stops existing?
    – V2Blast
    Sep 7 at 22:26
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We can't really say what will happen with them, but we can say what could happen with them.

For each mission, there are four options:

1. Nothing changes
Things continue more or less as they were before, with the same Ambassador, with relations proceeding as they were before. This is unlikely, as the Afghan government is no longer functional.

2. Taliban appoints new Ambassador
The Taliban could appoint a new Ambassador to these missions. This would require the host countries to accept these new appointments as diplomats, and this would probably be unlikely in many countries.

3. Taliban closes missions
The Taliban could decide to close the mission and attempt to recall the Ambassador and other diplomatic staff. Whether these staff would go back, or apply for asylum in their host countries, is unclear.

4. Host country closes missions
The host country can order the closure of a mission and the expulsion of the Ambassador and other diplomatic staff as persona non grata. Again, it's unclear how many will go back vs claim asylum.

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Joe C listed some options. However, there is a variant of his first option:

The host nation recognizes a government-in-exile (or a government holding some Afghan territory, but not the capital) as the legimitate government of Afghanistan and the embassy staff cooperates with this government.

  • The embassy can no longer fill many of the roles of an embassy or consulate, from visas to the promotion of trade. It can represent the government-in-exile to the country where the embassy is located.
  • Funding for operations could become difficult. The host government might subsidize it directly or indirectly.

Almost everything in international relations happens because people think it should happen. If they believe, this belief creates facts on the ground. Think back to the French during WWII, who had the Vichy government and various colonial and Free French forces. In the end, it mattered that the Western Allies and enough people in France backed de Gaulle.

I'm not saying this outcome is likely. But elements of it are bound to happen.

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