In a surprise move, Iranian authorities officially announced on February 27 the handover of the Afghan embassy in Tehran to representatives of the Taliban government.
Hours later, Zakir Jalali, adviser to the Taliban foreign ministry, announced a similar procedure in Turkey.
This raises questions about the Taliban’s quest for international recognition.
Since its seizure of power and its control over Afghan capital Kabul in mid-August 2021, the Taliban has been keen to obtain international recognition.
The movement also tries to project the image of being a representative of the Afghan people.
It began with multiple addresses to the United Nations immediately after its control over Kabul.
These entreaties were, however, met with near rejection due to obstacles, including the presence of disputes with former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.
The Taliban resorted to addressing Islamic countries, given the fact that Afghanistan is a predominantly Muslim country.
It said the Afghan people have the right to obtaining recognition from Islamic countries of their Taliban government.
At the same time, the Taliban took advantage of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country to obtain this recognition, albeit partially in the form of support from international relief and humanitarian institutions, by sending delegates to Afghanistan, as a step that may pave the way to obtaining UN recognition.
Iranian, Turkish recognition
Approval by the Iranian authorities of the handover of the Afghan embassy to representatives of the Taliban may have been a preliminary step towards the official recognition of the Taliban government as the representative of the Afghan people.
Jalali announced that seven diplomats from the movement left Kabul early on November 27 to Tehran.
He said on Twitter that the Taliban Foreign Ministry took this decision to avoid delays in the work of this embassy, which indicates that the movement is talking about the policy of imposing a fait accompli, and that the situation requires similar steps from other countries.
Meanwhile, activists on social networking sites shared photos from the process of handing over the Afghan embassy in Tehran to representatives of the movement, while removing photos of Ahmad Shah Massoud, an Afghan warlord, from above the walls of the embassy.
Less than three hours after that tweet, Jalali posted a similar tweet about a similar decision by Turkish authorities on the same day.
“After Tehran, the consulate in Istanbul is also under the control of the Taliban,” he said.
Jalali added that the building was handed over to the diplomat sent by the Foreign Ministry of the Taliban government to Turkey.
Asian affairs specialist Mohamed al-Sayed said the aforementioned moves represent a dream of the Taliban coming true.
“The Taliban has been dreaming of imposing full control over Afghanistan since it came to power,” al-Sayed told The Reference.
This, he added, would help the movement seal agreements and gain direct access to international aid and assistance.
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