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Citibank freezes accounts of Afghanistan diplomats in US

AT News

KABUL: Diplomats of former Afghan government who have held on to their jobs in the U.S. are grappling with a new problem: their official bank accounts have been suspended.

Two senior Afghan diplomats, who did not want to be named because the issue is under discussion with U.S. officials, confirmed to VOA that the Citibank accounts of the embassy in Washington and two Afghan consulates in the U.S. have been suspended for more than a month.

The Afghan mission in Washington does not receive funds from Kabul, because the Afghan capital now under the control of the Taliban, and it has survived thus far through dwindling consular service fees.

The consulates have run out of new passports but continue to renew expired passports. Because checks issued to cover passport renewal can no longer be made out to the Afghanistan Embassy, the remaining staff members deposit blank money orders into personal bank accounts, then meet at the end of each month to tally embassy revenue.

“We’ve held talks with the Department of State, but so far there has been no breakthrough,” one Afghan diplomat said, adding that U.S. officials had advised the diplomats against discussing the matter publicly.

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