The Afghanistan embassy in Canberra might continue to operate independent of the Taliban for years to come, a diplomacy expert has warned.
Twenty years after international forces forced them out of government and into the country's fringes, the Taliban have returned to power in Afghanistan.
It's already resulted in an international scramble to evacuate thousands of civilians in imminent danger from the group.
Now the dust has begun to settle following the end of the two-decade occupation of the Central Asian country, there's uncertainty over how countries will deal with its new leaders.
In the Canberra suburb of Deakin, Afghanistan's embassy remains unchanged for now.
Even though the Islamist militant group now holds the reins of the country, embassies around the world loyal to the fallen government stand in limbo.
But the embassy is continuing on with its regular duties for now amid the ACT's lockdown.
Diplomacy expert and Australian National University Professor William Maley explained it would likely remain that way for some time due to a government policy change in the late 1980s.
Under the Bob Hawke government, a tweak to foreign policy meant foreign governments would no longer be recognised, instead replacing them with states.
"When you get a change of regime in a country, it doesn't mean that the Australian government has to make a decision about whether to recognise a new government or continue recognition of the old government," Professor Maley said.
"Because when you recognise states only, you just agree to deal with people on the ground."
An embassy that doesn't represent the new rulers of the country might sound like a paradox but it happens often, Professor Maley said.
The mission of Myanmar in New York is under the control of diplomats loyal to former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, despite the military coup taking over earlier this year.
"That particular mission is using the platforms of the United Nations to advocate for human rights and to bring attention to violations by the military in Myanmar," he said.
"So, the Afghan embassy in Australia can continue to operate and there's no particular legal obstacle to that continuing for the foreseeable future."
Complications arise when embassies are cut off from their government's finances but communities supportive of the displaced or former governments they represent have been known to support their efforts.
Australia declined to recognise the forcible amalgamation of the Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia missions into the Soviet Union for decades.
Immigrant communities from the Baltic states helped fund the embassies in the hope it would advance their push for independence overseas.
In a similar vein, the Afghanistan embassy in Canberra could be used to voice opposition to the Taliban's rule and defend against human rights violations and gender inequality, he said.
But it might not have to remain that way for long.
The militant group is not well-liked by the vast majority of citizens, according to recent polling. Professor Maley warned it was only a matter of time before we saw groups pushing back against their reign.
"[The Taliban's return is] emphatically a disaster for any kind of democratic aspirations in Afghanistan, which is why a lot of people are trying to leave," he said.
"But with economic conditions deteriorating very rapidly in Afghanistan at the moment, it could well be the case that, sooner rather than later, we're going to see mass riots and things like that."
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