US announces temporary closure of embassy in Kabul

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced the temporary closure of the US embassy in Kabul.

Blinken confirmed that embassy staff had been relocated to Doha in Qatar during a news conference held on Monday, following the completion of US troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Blinken defended the suspension of embassy operations, describing it as a "prudent step to take," given the country's uncertain security environment and political situation.

He added that the US military mission in Afghanistan was over and a new diplomatic mission had begun.

Fewer than 200 US expatriates and local associates wishing to leave Afghanistan remained in the country, according to Blinken.

He stressed that the US will continue to help evacuate Americans and others stranded in Afghanistan as well as focus on the protection of women's rights.

The secretary also said that the Taliban must earn the international legitimacy and support it seeks, warning that the group needs to secure freedom of travel and human rights if it wants US recognition.