Reuters reported on 6 February 2023 that diplomats from the Saudi embassy in Kabul are leaving for neighboring Pakistan. The question is whether more embassies will follow suit.
World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller comments: “Although the Saudi diplomats are officially leaving for unspecified training and were allegedly supposed to return, this illustrates how successful the Islamic State group’s (ISKP) tactic of targeting embassies and politicians has been, leading to further isolation of the already embattled Taliban regime. The news of Saudi Arabia’s move to Pakistan immediately sparked fears of a further exodus, as rumors circled of further embassies closing, for instance, those of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar (Dawn, 8 February 2023). As of 31 January 2023, only 13 countries had kept an embassy open in Kabul. Every further closure comes as a blow to the Taliban government. This means that the dire social, economic and human rights situation in the country will be under even less international observation, including the situation of the small religious minorities.”