Nicaragua names ambassador to Taliban-run Afghanistan

Afghanistan women

Afghan burqa-clad women walk along a road in Arghandab district of Kandahar province on May 27, 2024. (Photo by Sanaullah SEIAM / AFP)

Nicaragua has appointed an ambassador to Afghanistan, local media reported, in a rare move increasing ties with the diplomatically isolated Taliban regime.

Michael Campbell, currently Nicaragua’s ambassador to China, will take on the additional role from his office in Beijing.

“We thank the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, that people, that government, for the blessing they have given to our comrade Michael Campbell,” Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo said Friday, according to the pro-government news outlet El 19 Digital.

Since their 2021 return to power, Taliban authorities have not been formally recognized by any nation.

The Nicaraguan government did not mention recognizing the Taliban government in its announcement.

China also has an ambassador to Afghanistan without recognizing the Taliban.

The top diplomat from the United States is a charge d’affaires, with Washington operating without a formal ambassador.

The Taliban apply a rigorous interpretation of Islam, leading to suppression of women’s freedoms that the United Nations has described as “gender apartheid.”

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, in office since 2007, has governed via increasingly authoritarian practices, quashing presidential term limits and seizing control of all branches of the state.