EXCLUSIVE: Senior Afghanistan official: Afghan government, not Taliban, still legitimate authority – Fox News

The consul general of Afghanistan to the Western U.S. remains in his position despite the Taliban takeover of the country and expects the Afghan government to remain in power “until and unless there is a transition,” he told Fox News in an exclusive interview.

“I’m still the consul general for Afghanistan,” said Aref Dostyar, who’s served in that role since 2020.

“We are recognized by the government of the United States of America,” he continued. “The U.S. still recognizes the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as the legitimate government. I think that until and unless there is a transition, this will continue.”

Dostyar, however, did acknowledge “things have fallen apart” inside Afghanistan since the American withdrawal.

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“Things have fallen apart on the Islamic Republic’s side, because leadership went out of the country, the army disintegrated and ministries shut down,” the 31-year-old, who studied in the U.S. at the University of Notre Dame, said.

The Taliban seized Kabul just over a week ago, nearly 20 years after the U.S. entered Afghanistan to root out the extremist group and al Qaeda following the 9/11 terror attacks. 

Dostyar said he is hopeful the Taliban follows through on their promise for an inclusive government.

“I think that we have heard some good things, some things that are promising,” he told Fox News. “But they would need both time and action to be able to trust.”

“It’s like opening a bank account that’s empty, and sometimes not only empty, but has a minus balance,” Dostyar said. “And, and so if you want to go and purchase things, it’s difficult, because you don’t have anything in your bank account, you will need to deposit into the bank account in order to be able to make purchases.”

“I think that it’s a similar situation in politics right now,” he continued. 

President Biden announced Tuesday that he would not seek to extend the Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan, potentially leaving tens of thousands of Americans and Afghan allies behind. 

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“I think that the United States makes its own decisions based on how they interpret their national interests,” Dostyar told Fox News. 

“And I think that I have certainly learned more about how the United States makes decisions, what their priorities are, that I can only adjust my future actions and my future decisions based on my new learning over the past few years,” he continued. 

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EXCLUSIVE: Senior Afghanistan official: Afghan government, not Taliban, still legitimate authority – Fox News

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