US takes control of Afghan embassy, consulates in NY, CA

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States has taken control of Afghanistan's embassy in Washington and the country's consulates in New York and Beverly Hills, California, the State Department said Tuesday.
The State Department said it has assumed "sole responsibility" for the security and upkeep of diplomatic missions, effective Monday, and will ban anyone from entering without their permit until further notice.
The move came after the Ministry announced at noon on April 16.
The US does not recognize the new Taliban government in Afghanistan, which came to power last year after the withdrawal of US and allied troops, and does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with the country.
"Until further notice, the Department of State's Office of Foreign Missions has assumed sole responsibility for the protection and preservation of the property of said missions, including but not limited to all property and tangible assets, furnishings, archives and financial assets of the Afghan Embassy or their consular offices in the United States," the department said in a statement to be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.
The missions were identified as the Afghan embassy in Washington and consular posts in Little Neck, New York and Beverly Hills, California.
The department found that Afghanistan had not requested a third country as a "protecting power" for its facilities or interests in the US. Qatar has served as a US protecting power in Afghanistan since Washington closed its embassy in Kabul.

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