Taliban diplomat takes charge of Afghanistan’s embassy in Uzbekistan

The Taliban has taken charge of Afghanistan’s embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with Magfoorullah Shahab, a member of the Taliban and son of Taliban Minister of Mines Shahabuddin Delawar, assuming the role on Friday, Feb. 2.

Shahab replaces Ahmad Khalid Elmi, the ambassador from the previous Afghan government.

Elmi, who was appointed by Afghanistan’s former government, had been operating under the supervision of the Taliban’s foreign ministry for the past two years. The Taliban’s foreign ministry officially dismissed him from his position.

Uzbekistan becomes the second country to have a Taliban-appointed ambassador. Previously, China accepted Bilal Karimi as the Taliban’s ambassador in Beijing.

The new appointment in Tashkent has triggered reactions, particularly against the backdrop of a Taliban decree prohibiting officials and cabinet members from appointing relatives to various positions.