Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Two Afghan ambassadors in Rome, that’s too many

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
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(Rome) Police were called this week to intervene at the Afghan embassy in Rome, where a dismissed diplomat, who allegedly had ties to the Taliban, assaulted the current ambassador, the Afghan mission said.

And the Afghan embassy in Rome announced, in a statement, Tuesday, that a diplomat appointed by the previous government, but he was recently dismissed, returned to the embassy on the same day claiming that he had been appointed as an ambassador by the Taliban.

He assaulted the ambassador in the presence of an embassy employee, but the ambassador defended himself and called the Italian police.

Excerpt from a press release issued by the embassy

Upon his arrival, the police escorted the assailant outside the embassy.

Many Afghan embassies find themselves in a paradoxical situation, with staff members remaining loyal to the pro-Western government that was ousted by the Taliban in August.

The Taliban have not appointed new ambassadors to most of their representations, and no country has yet recognized their government.

According to the embassy statement, dismissed diplomat Muhammad Fahim Kashaf lost his job due to his “lack of commitment to national values ​​and the values ​​of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the official name of the country as recognized by the United Nations, while the Taliban refer to it as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

According to a diplomatic source, the diplomat “handed over his jacket” to the Taliban side and was “beaten” by his former colleagues.

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Police in Rome, contacted by AFP, for their part, spoke of a “misunderstanding”, without elaborating.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry in Kabul denied appointing Mr. Kashf as ambassador, but also expelled him.

According to the ministry, he was appointed first secretary of the embassy in December 2020, on the basis of a contract that runs until December 2023.

“According to our files, he is still a diplomat and has not violated his contract,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdel Qaher Balkhi said in a statement. But the ministry did not appoint him ambassador in Rome. Mr. Scout’s contract is still valid and his termination is illegal.”

The special situation in Afghanistan has also caused problems at the United Nations, where representatives of the old and new regimes are demanding a blockade of Afghanistan.

Last year, the UN Security Council indefinitely postponed any decision on the matter.

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